Human activity is destroying each day our atmosphere with all kind of global warming emissions that, in time, will generate significant and harmful impacts, not only on the environment and climate, but also on our health.
We are happy to see more consumers with every day, whom are making some efforts to reduce their environmental impact. Using green energy is one of the most effective ways to make a difference. Green energy is produced by renewable energy sources, among which solar energy, wind energy and hydroelectricity. These sources help us reduce our dependence on gas, oil and other fossil fuels that are becoming more expensive and difficult to find.
If you find yourself among those people, eager to help improve the environment and its health, here are some examples of renewable energy sources that can help you on how to green energy.
Wind powered turbines. Wind is a form of solar energy because it is produced by the sun. The sun unevenly heats the surface of the Earth. Whenever the hot air rises, the cooler air moves in and fills the gap. So, as long as the sun shines, the wind will blow.
The process by which the wind is used to generate electricity is called wind power or wind energy. Wind turbines take over the moving air and power an electric generator, which provides the electric current. In other words wind turbines convert the kinetic energy from wind into mechanical power: the wind spins the blades that rotate a shaft; the shaft is connected to a generator and produces electricity.
The manufacturers of wind turbines developed the systems under two big categories: horizontal-axis – such as the farm windmills and vertical-axis – like the eggbeater-style Darrieus model. The first model is the most modern and its components are: blades ( converts the energy in the wind to rotational shaft energy), drive train (including a gearbox and a generator), tower ( the support for the rotor and drive train), small components (controls, electrical cable, ground support and interconnection equipment). Like other renewable energy systems vary in size and therefore in power ratings.
The difference between horizontal and the vertical-axis wind turbines is that the last one does not need to be pointed into the wind to function. This is a good alternative for a site where the wind direction varies often.
Water powered turbines. If you are lucky enough to have a source of running water nearby your home, then you should take full advantage of it. Water turbines are used since the 19th century when they were first developed. Back then, their main usage was for industrial power prior to electrical grids, but now they are used for generating electric power.
Hydropower or hydroelectric power is the process by which the flowing water is captured and turned into electricity. To be more specific, the blades of a turbine runner are driven by the flowing water, creating a pressure that makes the runner spin. As long as the runner is spinning, the energy from the water flow is transferred to the turbine.
There are two groups of water turbines:
- Reaction turbines – the most used; the moving water from the turbine changes pressure and gives up its energy; they must be submerged in the water flow or embedded, so they retain the water pressure.
- Impulse turbines – the water jet pushes on the blades and changes the direction of the flow which causes a force on the turbine blades. The force of the spinning acts through a distance and lets the diverted water flow with reduced energy. Before hitting the blades, the water pressure is converted to kinetic energy and relies on the turbine. Since there is no pressure change on the blades, the turbine does not need to be encased.
It is not important what type of renewable energy you choose, what matters is to use it at full capacity and to take in consideration your location, resources and how you can benefit from them.