It is a well-known fact that the conventional energy resources of our planet are on the verge of extinction. Fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum, crude oil etc that are being used to generate useful energy are slowly getting exhausted day by day. Therefore, scientists and researchers throughout the globe are busy brainstorming to discover alternative energy resources in order to meet the energy need of the future generations. Expensive experiments and trials are being conducted to innovate new ideas and technology to extract energy from natural resources like the wind, sea-waves, sunlight, geothermal energy and so on. If implemented properly, these may serve as the chief energy sources of earth in the near future. These energy sources are much more eco friendly or greener in nature as compared to that in case of the conventional fossil fuels.
The following points will elaborate 7 excellent renewable energy ideas which aim for a greener planet.
1. Tornado Power:
Designer: Louis Michaud
A tornado is an immense source of energy. It has the fastest velocity and the densest air density among all the storms of our atmosphere. Canadian engineer Louis Michaud has designed a concept machine which he calls an “atmospheric vortex engine” to harness the energy of a tornado. This engine is characterized by a 200 meter wide area with 100 meter high walls. Warm humid air will enter into this structure and made to circulate at a high speed of 200 miles per hour. As a result, a vacuum is formed at the center of this whirlpool which can shoot up to large heights from the ground. This system is capable of generating about 200 mega watts of energy.
2. Solar Updraft Tower:
This concept makes use of three basic principles. It is a blended form of the greenhouse effect, the chimney effect and the turbine effect. The cost involved in this design is much cheaper as compared to that in expensive solar cells and solar modules. In this concept, air is heated up using the greenhouse effect principle by solar power in a chamber located at the base of a very high chimney. As a result of the temperature difference, the warm air is forced to move upwards which causes the turbines situated in the chimney to rotate and thus produce electrical power.
3. Solar Satellite:
Designer: Space Energy Inc.
Solar modules and panels have been proven quite efficient energy sources in the present energy scenario. But they fail to serve the purpose cent percent owing to the diverse weather effects on the earth’s surface. Cloudy weathers, storms, earthquakes etc largely affect the performance and efficiency of such systems. Thus, to eliminate such weather effects, scientists from NASA in collaboration with some private companies have been thinking on the concept of moving the panels beyond all atmospheric effects to the space itself. But this concept has some limitations and still demands further research and study. These include the expensiveness of installing the specified machinery in space and also the absence of suitable technology to store and resend the generated power on the earth’s surface to be utilized.
4. Finavera Renewables Aquabuoy
Designer: Finavera Renewables
Tidal waves may also serve as large energy resources. Finavera Renewables have designed a concept to capture the power of tidal undulations in the ocean’s heart to generate energy. The design consists of the piston technology which moves up and down according to the ups and downs of the tidal waves in the ocean. This results in rotation of modular turbine blades connected with such pistons which in turn produces usable electrical energy. The energy output ranges from Kilo Watts to Mega Watts.
5. High Altitude Wind Energy:
Designer: Makani Power
Conventional Wind Turbines have been long in the field of non-conventional energy resources. But their efficiency and performance are hindered by inconsistent weather and climatic conditions. Makani Power has designed a technology to capture the wind energy at high altitudes to solve the problem of traditional wind turbines. The atmospheric conditions at such high altitudes is much stable than that near the surface. The design is like that of a kite bearing wind turbines which generate electrical energy.
6. Minesto Tidal Energy:
Designer: Minesto Tidal Energy
This technology helps in generating power from the low speed tidal waves with the help of under-water kites. It has been suitably designed to harness the low water speeds. It is much more efficient than the Makani wind turbine kites. This is because water has a density of 800 times than that of air. Thus the momentum of water is also 800 times as that compared to air. In addition to this, the Minesto kites have the capacity to rotate at high speeds up to 10 times of the speed of the flowing water. Faster the kite turbine rotates, more is the energy output. Thus, the energy output from such underwater kites is very high.
7. Solar Islands:
Solar panels and modules require a large area for installation. This is because the energy output from a single solar unit is very nominal. This energy needs to be multiplied hundreds or thousand times to produce a considerable energy output. This demands the installation of a large number of solar panels covering a wide span of area having maximum sun exposure throughout the year. Thus, CSEM has brought forward the concept of solar islands which may be placed in the land or oceans where the sun exposure is maximum and the weather condition is somewhat stable. One solar island is likely to produce 1 Giga Watt of electrical energy.