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Renewable Energy Chapter 18. Advanced Placement Environmental Science. Energy Efficiency Solar Energy Hydropower Wind Power Biomass Geothermal Sustainability. Energy Efficiency.

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Renewable EnergyChapter 18

Advanced Placement Environmental Science

Energy Efficiency

Solar Energy


Wind Power




Energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency

  • Increasing energy efficiency of common devices has economic and environmental advantages

    • Reducing oil imports

    • Prolonging fossil fuel supplies

    • Reducing pollution and environmental degradation

    • Saving money

    • Buys time to develop new technology

    • Creating jobs

Efficiency of Some Common Devices

Device Efficiency (%)

  • Dry-cell flashlight battery 90

  • Home gas furnace 85

  • Storage battery 70

  • Home oil furnace 65

  • Small electric motor 62

  • Steam power plant 38

  • Diesel engine 38

  • High-intensity lamp 32

  • Automobile engine 25

  • Fluorescent lamp 22

  • Incandescent lamp 4

Energy Efficiency

percentage of energy input that does useful work in an energy conversion system

Ways to improve energy efficiency
Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

  • Between 1985 and 2001, the average fuel efficiency for new motor vehicles sold in the United States leveled off or declined

    • Fuel-efficient models account for only a tiny fraction of car sales

    • Hybrid-electric cars are now available and sales are expected to increase

    • Fuel-cell cars that burn hydrogen fuel will be available within a few years

    • Electric scooters and electric bicycles are short-range transportation alternatives

Energy use of various types of transportation

Ways to improve energy efficiency1
Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

  • Superinsulated house is more expensive than a conventional house, but energy savings pay back the extra cost

  • Strawbale houses have the additional advantage of using an annually renewable agricultural residue, thus slowing deforestation

Ways to improve energy efficiency2
Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency

  • Existing homes can be made more energy efficient

    • adding insulation

    • plugging leaks

    • installing energy-saving windows

    • wrapping water heaters

    • installing tankless models

    • buying energy-efficient appliances and lights

Energy Efficiency

Solar Energy


Wind Power




Solar energy
Solar Energy

  • Buildings can be heated

    • passive solar heating system

    • active solar heating system

  • Solar thermal systems are new technologies that collect and transform solar energy into heat that can be used directly or converted to electricity

  • Photovoltaic cells convert solar energy directly into electricity

Suitability of Solar Usage

best when more than 60% of daylight hours sunny

Solar Heating

Passive system:

Absorbs & stores heat from the sun directly within a structure

Active system:

Collectors absorb solar energy, a pump supplies part of abuildings heating or water heating needs.

Solar domestic hot water sdhw
Solar Domestic Hot Water (SDHW)

  • An open circuit hot water system heats the domestic water directly on the roof of the building

  • The water flows from the heat collector into the hot water tank to be used in the house

  • Integration of solar energy conservation in homes can reduce energy consumption by 75-90%.

    • SOLAR%20AMERICA%5B1%5D.ppt

Photovoltaic (Solar) Cells

Provides electricity for buildings

Inside the pv cell
Inside the PV cell

  • PV cells are made from silicon alloys

  • PV module

    • 1cm by 10cm cells

    • 36 cells connected SOLAR%20AMERICA%5B1%5D.ppt

Solar thermal techniques
Solar Thermal Techniques

SolarTwo SOLAR%20AMERICA%5B1%5D.ppt


  • Heliostats provide concentrated sunlight to the power tower

  • The reflecting mirrors follow the sun along its daily trajectory SOLAR%20AMERICA%5B1%5D.ppt

Power tower
Power Tower

  • Sunlight from mirrors are reflected to fixed receiver in power tower

  • Fluid transfers the absorbed solar heat into the power block

  • Used to heat a steam generator

Solar One SOLAR%20AMERICA%5B1%5D.ppt

Solar hydrogen revolution
Solar-Hydrogen Revolution

  • Splitting water can produce H2 gas

  • If scientists and engineers can learn how to use forms of solar energy to decompose water cheaply, they will set in motion a solar-hydrogen revolution

  • Hydrogen-powered fuel cells could power vehicles and appliances

Energy Efficiency

Solar Energy


Wind Power




History of hydroelectric
History of Hydroelectric

  • B.C. - Used by the Greeks to turn water wheels for grinding wheat into flour, more than 2,000 years ago

  • 1775 - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers founded, with establishment of Chief Engineer for the Continental Army

  • 1880 - Michigan's Grand Rapids Electric Light and Power Company, generating electricity by dynamo, belted to a water turbine at the Wolverine Chair Factory, lit up 16 brush-arc lamps. hydroelectric/hydro.ppt

History of hydroelectric1
History of Hydroelectric

  • By 1940 - 40% of electrical generation was hydropower

  • Between 1921 and 1940 - conventional capacity in the U.S. tripled; almost tripled again between 1940 and 1980

  • Currently - about 10% of U.S. electricity comes from hydropower. hydroelectric/hydro.ppt

Turbine technologies
Turbine Technologies

  • Reaction

    • fully immersed in fluid

    • shape of blades produces rotation hydroelectric/hydro.ppt

Tidal Power Plant

Energy Efficiency

Solar Energy


Wind Power




Rotary windmill
Rotary Windmill

Vertical Blades

Energy from wind
Energy from Wind

  • Production of electricity and hydrogen gas by wind farms is expected to increase

  • Western Europe currently leads in the development of wind power

  • Land used for wind farms also can be used for ranching or crops and most profits stay in local communities

    • North Dakota


  • Low Torque – Rapid Speed

    • good for electrical generation

  • High Torque – Slow Speed

    • good for pumping water

  • Small generator

    • low wind speeds

    • captures small amount of energy

  • Large generator

    • high wind speeds

    • may not turn at low speeds

Source: American Wind Energy Association

Energy Efficiency

Solar Energy


Wind Power




Energy from biomass
Energy from Biomass

  • In the developing world, most people heat homes and cook by burning wood or charcoal

  • Plant materials and animal wastes also can be converted into biofuels,

    • Biogas

    • Liquid ethanol

    • Liquid methanol

  • Urban wastes can be burned in incinerators to produce electricity and heat

Types of Biomass Fuel


  • Fuels:

  • Ethanol

  • Renewable Diesel

  • Methanol

  • Hydrogen

  • Electricity

  • Heat

  • Products

  • Plastics

  • Foams

  • Solvents

  • Coatings

  • Chemical Intermediates

  • Phenolics

  • Adhesives

  • Fatty acids

  • Acetic Acid

  • Carbon black

  • Paints

  • Dyes, Pigments, and Ink

  • Detergents

  • Etc.



  • Biomass

  • Feedstock

  • Trees

  • Forest Residues

  • Grasses

  • Agricultural Crops

  • Agricultural Residues

  • Animal Wastes

  • Municipal Solid Waste

  • Acid Hydrolysis/Fermentation

  • Enzymatic Fermentation

  • - Gas/liquid Fermentation

  • - Thermochemical Processes

  • - Gasification/Pyrolysis

  • - Combustion

  • - Co-firing

Energy Efficiency

Solar Energy


Wind Power




Geothermal energy
Geothermal Energy

  • Geothermal energy can be used to heat buildings and to produce electricity

  • Geothermal reservoirs can be depleted if heat is removed faster than natural processes renew it, but the potential supply is vast


  • Geothermal Heat Pumps

    • shallow ground energy

  • Direct-Use

    • hot water can be piped to facilities

  • Power Plants

    • steam and hot water drive turbines

      • dry steam plants

      • flash steam plants

      • binary cycle plants geothermal/GeothermalEnergy.ppt

Dry steam power plants
Dry Steam Power Plants

  • Hydrothermal fluids are primarily steam

    • Steam goes directly to turbine

    • No fossil fuels geothermal/GeothermalEnergy.ppt

Flash steam power plant
Flash Steam Power Plant

  • Fluids above 200 degrees Celsius

    • Fluid is sprayed into tank at lower pressure

    • Fluid rapidly vaporizes

    • Steam drives turbine geothermal/GeothermalEnergy.ppt

Binary cycle power plant
Binary Cycle Power Plant

  • Cooler water (below 200 degrees Celsius)

    • Hot thermal fluid and a second fluid pass through heat exchanger geothermal/GeothermalEnergy.ppt


  • Clean Energy

    • one sixth of carbon dioxide vs. natural gas

    • very little if any nitrous oxide or sulfur compounds

  • Availability

    • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

  • Homegrown

  • Renewable geothermal/GeothermalEnergy.ppt

Environmental effects
Environmental Effects

  • Only emission is steam

  • Salts and dissolved minerals reinjected

  • Some sludge produced

    • Mineral extraction

  • Little Visual Impact

    • Small acreage, no fuel storage facilities geothermal/GeothermalEnergy.ppt


  • Hot geothermal fluid

  • Low mineral and gas content

  • Shallow aquifers

    • Producing and reinjecting the fluid

  • Private land

    • Simplifies permit process

  • Proximity to transmission lines geothermal/GeothermalEnergy.ppt


  • Only tiny fraction is currently used

    • Dry hot rock heated by molten magma

    • Drill into rock and circulate water geothermal/GeothermalEnergy.ppt

Energy Efficiency

Solar Energy


Wind Power




Suggestions to make the transition to a more

sustainable energy future.