11.3: Renewable Energy Sources pg. 428

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1 Unit E: Electrical Applications Chapter 11: Electrical Energy 11.3: Renewable Energy Sources pg. 428 Key Concepts: 1. Electrical energy is generated using a variety of technologies. 2. Electrical energy is generated using both renewable and non-renewable sources. 3. Electrical energy production has an effect on the environment and society. Renewable Sources Renewable Energy Source: an energy source that can be replaced in relatively short period of time. Hydro-electric Generation The use of falling water is used to turn a turbine and generator to generate electricity. Many hydro-electric generating stations use water stored behind dams to turn the turbine. The dams control the water flow and direct water over the turbine. There are 180 hydro-electric generating plants in Ontario. Table 1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydro-electric Generation Advantages - does not release pollution into the air or water Disadvantages - disrupts the natural water flow pattern - can restrict fish movement unless fish ladders are built. - Large land areas behind a dam are flooded, resulting in habitat loss. - Generating stations are expensive to build. - Difficult to find suitable locations for generating stations.

2 Wind Generation Wind has been used to move sailboats and windmills to pump water on farms. Wind can be harnessed to turn turbines, large blades, which are connected to generators, which produces electricity. Table 2: Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Generation Advantages - Wind is free and does not need to be transported - Building and maintaining wind farms is less expensive than generating stations that use fossil fuels or uranium. - Wind turbines can be built anywhere winds are reliable and relatively strong. Disadvantages - Turbines may change scenic views. - Large land areas are needed for wind farms. - Noise pollution for people living nearby. - Wind turbines may disrupt the paths of migrating birds and bats. Photovoltaic Generation Photovoltaic Cell: a device that converts light directly into electrical energy. Producing electricity without turbines and a generator can be done photovoltaic cells. The sun supplies an abundant amount of energy to Earth. A photovoltaic cell or solar cell, is capable of converting sunlight energy into electrical energy. Charged particles are excited by sunlight energy, photon, causing them to move and create electrical current. Table 3: Advantages and Disadvantages of Photovoltaic Generation Advantage - Free and readily available - Can be installed anywhere that receives enough sunlight - Does not create air or water pollution Disadvantage - Currently expensive and inefficient - Can only work during the day, but small systems can use batteries to store electricity for nighttime use.

3 Thermal Generation Using Biomass The use of Biomass, or biofuel, is used to produce thermal energy. Water is heated to create steam, which is used to turn a turbine and generator to produce electricity. Biomass is any form of bacterial, plant, or animal matter, or and gas given off from decaying matter from farms, sewage treatment plants, and landfills. Table 4: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Biomass Advantages - Always renewable trees and crops can be replaced; plant and animal waste is produced continuously; gases are continuously produced by decay. Disadvantages - Burning biomass produces greenhouse gases. - Using crops as fuel results in lower food production. Geothermal Generation In areas where there is volcanic activity, there is a great deal of heat trapped underground. Pipes are drilled deep into the ground to access this source of heat. Hot geothermal gases are piped to generating stations to turn the turbines, which turn the generator to produce electricity. Geothermal energy can also be used to heating and cooling homes. Table 5: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Geothermal Generation Advantage - Geothermal energy is always present deep in Earth s crust. - Geothermal fluids can be continuously pumped back underground to be reheated and reused. - does not produce pollution or greenhouse gases. Disadvantage - Suitable geothermal areas are rare; very few are near populated areas. - Generating stations are difficult and expensive to build.

4 What Does the Future Hold? 26% of electrical energy is produced from burning coal and natural gas. 52% comes from nuclear power plants, meaning that 78% production comes from non-renewable sources. How do we meet the growing needs of electricity? Can we change the way we use electrical energy? Are there new ways to generate electrical energy and still be friendly to the environment? Figure 6: This circle graph shows how Ontario s electrical energy was generated in Check Your Learning: Questions 1 5, pg. 431 Wrap Up: - Sources used to generate electrical energy can be renewable. - Renewable sources used to generate electricity include hydro-electric, wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy. - Producing energy using renewable sources has advantages and disadvantages for society and for the environment.

5 11.3: Renewable Energy Sources pg. 428 Table 1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydro-electric Generation Advantages - does not release pollution into the air or water Disadvantages - disrupts the natural water flow pattern - can restrict fish movement unless fish ladders are built. - Large land areas behind a dam are flooded, resulting in habitat loss. - Generating stations are expensive to build. - Difficult to find suitable locations for generating stations. Table 2: Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Generation Advantages - Wind is free and does not need to be transported - Building and maintaining wind farms is less expensive than generating stations that use fossil fuels or uranium. - Wind turbines can be built anywhere winds are reliable and relatively strong. Disadvantages - Turbines may change scenic views. - Large land areas are needed for wind farms. - Noise pollution for people living nearby. - Wind turbines may disrupt the paths of migrating birds and bats. Table 3: Advantages and Disadvantages of Photovoltaic Generation Advantage - Free and readily available - Can be installed anywhere that receives enough sunlight - Does not create air or water pollution Disadvantage - Currently expensive and inefficient - Can only work during the day, but small systems can use batteries to store electricity for nighttime use. Table 4: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Biomass Advantages - Always renewable trees and crops can be replaced; plant and animal waste is produced continuously; gases are continuously produced by decay. Disadvantages - Burning biomass produces greenhouse gases. - Using crops as fuel results in lower food production. Table 5: Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Geothermal Generation Advantage - Geothermal energy is always present deep in Earth s crust. - Geothermal fluids can be continuously pumped back underground to be reheated and reused. - does not produce pollution or greenhouse gases. Disadvantage - Suitable geothermal areas are rare; very few are near populated areas. - Generating stations are difficult and expensive to build.

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