A Renewable energy source is one that cannot be exhausted. That is, it replenishes irrespective of the rate of consumption. It is sometimes referred to as CLEAN ENERGY because it poses no threat to the environment. Clean energy sources do not emit greenhouse gases and hence, fosters sustainability. Renewable energy sources are water, sun, wind, tides, geothermal heat, and waves. The most common are Hydro(water), Solar (Sun), and Wind energy.
HYDROELECTRICITY is simply electricity produced from water. Here, the falling water drives a turbine, and this motion turns the shaft of a generator. Here, mechanical energy converts to electrical energy.
Falling water produces hydroelectric power.
As seen in the above diagram, there is a dam on a large river. The water stored in the reservoir moves with pressure through a small opening and goes to drive the turbine. The motion of the turbine drives the hydroelectric generator that converts the energy to electricity. This electricity is stepped-up for transmission to the community.
SOLAR ENERGY has its source from the sun. This energy system adopts technologies that transform the heat or light from the sun into other forms of useful energy sources. Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal Energy are the categories of technology that harness Solar Energy.
Solar Thermal Energy is a technology that utilizes the sun as a source of heat for several applications. This process involves the concentration of sunlight to generate a high temperature which heats a fluid to produce steam. This steam is allowed to pass through a small opening which creates the pressure that drives the turbine (mechanical energy), and the generator is powered to produce electricity.
Solar photovoltaic is a system where the light from the sun is converted to electricity. In this kind of technology, the solar panel (which is the composition of many photovoltaic cells) is an essential component for electricity generation.
The PV (solar) cells made up of semiconductors and some other metal components with insulators. When light from the sun shines on this cell, the photon from the sun energizes the electrons causing motion. This motion of electron produces electric current and hence, electricity.
WIND ENERGY refers to the conversion of electricity from the wind. The principle here is similar to that of hydroelectricity. Here, wind replaces water. When the wind blows, it moves the turbine (the fanlike component). As the blade rotates, an internal shaft also rotates and spins the generator that converts the mechanical energy to electricity.
About Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo is a 500 level student of Electrical and Information Engineering at Landmark University. A Highly motivated learner with a passion for teaching and impacting knowledge. She has a keen interest in Renewable Energy and sees it as a major contributor to sustainable energy in Nigeria.
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