Energy Transformation Partnership for Environmental Education and Rural Health peer.tamu.edu
Objectives • Learn about the different sources energy • Understand how one form of energy is transformed into another form • Describe the difference between renewable energy, non-renewable energy and inexhaustible energy
Energy • Energy is the ability to do work. • We use energy for transportation, to heat and cool our homes, to power our electronic devices and many other things. CH-113.0
Energy • Law of Conservation of Energy - Energy is neither created nor destroyed; it only changes forms. This field has devices designed to generate electricity from lightning by harvesting the energy from the electrical discharge produced from lightning. CH-113.0
Energy Transformation • Energy transformation is the process of changing one form of energy into another.
Energy Transformation Biomass in the form of wood Energy from the sun is absorbed by trees and plants and stored as chemical energy through a process called photosynthesis. When wood from trees is burned, heat and light energy are released as those chemical bonds are broken. Biomass is the total quantity or weight of organisms in a given area.
Energy Transformation Biomass in the form of dung Energy from the sun is stored by plants via photosynthesis. The plants are either eaten by humans, or they are eaten by animals and dung is produced. Dung can be burned to release heat and some light energy.
Energy Transformation Fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) Energy from the sun is stored by plants as chemical energy via photosynthesis. Plants are eaten by animals. Dead plants and animals gradually rot and, over millions of years, are compressed to make fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are burned, creating heat and light energy plus emissions.
Energy Transformation Wind power Energy from the sun heats the atmosphere, causing winds. The wind turns the turbines on windmills, which generate electricity.
Energy Transformation Wave energy Energy from the sun heats the atmosphere, causing winds and therefore waves. The waves drive turbines, which generate electricity.
Energy Transformation Solar power Energy from the sun is collected and stored in photovoltaic cells to be used as electricity. Alternately, flat-plate solar thermal collectors can be used to store the sun's heat energy, which can be used directly, or to heat water to make steam to drive a turbine to generate electricity.
Forms of Energy • The sun is the primary source of energy for most of the forms of energy that we use in our daily lives. • However, there are other forms of energy that do not involve the sun. • Geothermal • Nuclear • Hydroelectric (although the sun does power the water cycle that drives this form of energy)
Geothermal Energy • In volcanic areas, the rocks heat the ground water. It rises to the surface as hot water and steam.
Geothermal Energy • In some places, deep wells can be drilled down to the hot rocks and cold water is pumped down. • The water runs through fractures in the rocks and is heated up. • It returns to the surface as hot water and steam.
Geothermal Energy • In both cases, the hot water and steam are used to drive turbines which generate electricity.
Nuclear Energy • Nuclear fuels, like uranium, are the primary source of energy for nuclear power. • These radioactive elements are involved in nuclear chain reactions in the reactor core, which produce large amounts of heat.
Nuclear Energy • The heat energy is used to boil water. • The kinetic energy in the expanding steam spins turbines, which then drive generators to produce electricity.
Hydroelectric Energy • Hydroelectricity is electricity generated by hydropower, i.e., the production of power through use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. • Most hydroelectric power comes from the potential energy of dammed water driving a water turbine and generator.
Hydroelectric Energy • It is the most widely used form of renewable energy. • A hydroelectric plant produces no direct waste, and doesn’t create as much of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) as fossil fuel powered energy plants.