Ecology 1000 UNIT 3 Notes - Ecology 1000 Notes UNIT 3 Friday Lecture 10 Alternative Energy Wind Hydro Renewable Energy Consumption o Hydropower 57 o

Ecology 1000 UNIT 3 Notes - Ecology 1000 Notes UNIT 3...

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Ecology 1000 Notes UNIT 3 Friday, October 10, 2013 Lecture 10: Alternative Energy- Wind & Hydro Renewable Energy Consumption o Hydropower 57% o Biomass (not including firewood- which is a huge source globally) 23% o Solar 9% o Wind 7% o Geothermal 4% Wind Power o Windmill-blade works like an airplane wing, and turns a generator o Available in almost all parts of the world o Wind- The movement of air from uneven heating of surfaces o Geography and Topography cause uneven heating of earth o Winds formed from high to low pressure o Where is the greatest potential in the US? - The Southwest (ex: Texas) Energy 101 VIDEO: o Ideal place for windmills: desert next to tall mountains (lots of potential for winds) o The shape of the windmill blades causes uneven pressure which makes the windmill turn towards the wind o The blades are connected to a shaft, but that alone is not fast enough-connected to a turbine with gears to make it faster & produce more energy o Turbine blades –can sweep an area of up to 130ft (as long as a football field) Winds of Change-Denmark o Leading country in wind power technology o 5 ½ million people- one of the greenest countries on earth o 5,500 windmills across the country o Windmills are built offshore because the wind is higher off shore than on land o Generates 40 megawatts of power-enough for 40,000 Copenhagen homes drew o Hypocrisy-8% of their energy is imported nuclear power & they heavily rely on coal o Problem with wind power-not always reliable Conservation and Innovation can be Profitable o 2/3 of wind power in US: Texas, California, Iowa, Minnesota, and Washington o Wind farms: clusters of turbines o Currently produce less than 0.5% of global electricity needs o ~6% of the total renewable energy o But, fastest growing renewable sector (10x increase in last decade) Advantages o No fuel needed (no drilling, wastes, etc.) o No pollutants released (CO2, NO2, SO2) o Domestic energy source o Not subject to disruptions of single energy plants Disadvantages o Bird and bat deaths (may interfere with bird movement corridors) o The windmills are often in the wind paths that birds use, and they fly into the windmills causing injury and death o But this is a smaller issue when compared to issues that arise with other forms of energy o Aesthetics?-
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People claim they can’t sleep or live with the noise of the windmills Have to be away from neighborhoods-but the farther away they are from homes, the harder it is to get the energy to those people without losing the electricity o Intermittent wind- the wind doesn’t blow everywhere, all day Use offshore locations? Better solution since there is more wind on the water, but harder to get the electricity to land locations Hydropower Capturing the energy of water moving under the force of gravity 1. Impoundment plants (Dams) a. Just build a wall that stops flowing water b. Some of the water goes through a pipe into a turbine and generator c. Turns a wheel that creates electricity-goes into long distance power lines d. The rest goes back into the river
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