Preserving energy has become a matter of great concern as human beings are exploiting natural resources like anything. If we don’t preserve our natural resources then our future generation won’t be left with anything. Scientists are looking out for alternatives to curb this issue. Here are few examples of alternatives given below:
Solar energy has a great scope these days, the best part of this source is that it is available abundantly and requires no additional fuel and doesn’t cause any pollution at all.
Sunlight can be captured directly as usable heat or can be even converted into electricity using solar, or photoelectric, cells or heliostats. Scientists have even discovered methods for using solar power to replace a gas-powered engine by heating hydrogen gas in a tank that can even run a generator. However there are certain drawbacks for solar energy like the requirement of large space and high installation costs.
Right now, wind energy meets only 0.1 percent of the world’s electricity demands, but still there is a great scope for this form of energy as it’s very clean and can generate a great amount of power as long as the wind blows. Recently scientists have even developed concepts like floating windmills that stays 15,000-feet high in the air. These floating wind mills can generate electricity by four propellers and can reach to the earth via a cable. The main drawback of this wind energy concept is that the winds don’t always blow, however scientists believe that floating windmills will solve these problems, as winds blow much stronger and more consistently at high altitudes.
Biomass energy mainly involves releasing the chemical energy stored in organic matter like domestic waste. These materials are burned directly to produce heat or refined to create alcoholic fuels like ethanol. However unlike other renewable energy sources, biomass energy is not clean as burning organic matter produces large amounts of carbon dioxide. Scientists are finding out ways to experiment with bacteria to break down biomass and to produce hydrogen that can be used as a fuel.
Ocean thermal energy conversion
OTEC is the latest alternative source of energy that uses the temperature differences between surface water heated by the sun and water in the ocean’s chilly depths to generate electricity.
OTEC plants usually fall into three categories:
Closed Cycle: A liquid with a low boiling point like ammonia is boiled using warm seawater. The steam produced will be used to operate an electricity-generating turbine; the vapor will be cooled with cold seawater.
Open Cycle: In this, the warm seawater will be converted into low-pressure vapor which is used to generate electricity. The vapor will be then cooled and converted to fresh water with cold seawater.
Hybrid Cycle: A closed cycle OTEC is used to generate electricity, which is then used to create the low-pressure environment required for the open cycle.
Another great solution to counteract energy consumption problem is by using hydrogen fuel cells. They can generate electricity using only hydrogen and oxygen and doesn’t produce any pollution at all. An automobile running on hydrogen fuel cells will only emit water, that’s the best part.
The main problem of hydrogen is that though it’s abundantly available but still it is bound up in molecules like water. You can produce pure unbound hydrogen only with the help of other energy sources like fossil fuels. Another problem associated with hydrogen is that it can’t be compressed easily or safely and it requires large tanks for storage. Hydrogen atoms even have a tendency to bleed through the materials covering them, thereby weakening their containers.
Antimatter is mainly made up of antiparticles that have the same mass like ordinary matter but with opposite atomic properties called spin and charge. When the opposed particles meet, they annihilate each other and produce great amounts of energy as proved by Einstein’s renowned equation, E=mc2.
Antimatter is already used in a medical imaging technique called positron emission tomography (PET), however still it’s predominant use as a potential fuel source still remains as a dream.
The main problem associated with antimatter is that it’s scarcely available in the universe. It can be produced in laboratories, but only in tiny amounts and it’s an expensive deal. Even if the problem of production can be solved, a question still remains how to store something that has a tendency to annihilate itself on contact with ordinary matter, and even to harness the energy that is produced once.
You need to utilize the possibility of the above mentioned possibilities to save our natural resources and electricity.