All kinds of solar units use solar radiation as an alternative source of energy. Gained energy can be used for both heat supply and electricity generation (using photovoltaic cells).
Sustainability, noiselessness, and operation without harmful emissions into the atmosphere when processing solar radiation into other types of energy are the advantages of solar energy.
The disadvantages of solar energy are the dependence of the intensity of solar radiation on the daily and seasonal rhythm, as well as the need to build a great quantity of solar power plants. The environmental problem lies in the complexity of disposal of toxic and toxic substances necessary for the manufacture of photovoltaic elements of solar systems.
One of the most promising sources of energy is wind. The operational principal of a wind generator is simple. The force of the wind is used to set the wind wheel in motion. This rotation is in turn transmitted to the rotor of an electric generator.
The main advantage of such energy is the inexhaustibility of this resource. What is more, there are no harmful emissions that pollute the atmosphere while wind turbines are working.
The inconstancy of wind power and the low power of a single generator are the disadvantages of wind power production. Low-frequency noise generated by wind turbines is also a disadvantage of these units (as a result, they are localized away from populated areas).
A huge amount of thermal energy is stored in the deep bowels of our planet, because the temperature of the Earth’s core is extremely high. In some parts of the world – volcanic areas and geothermal vents –there is a direct release of high-temperature magma to the Earth’s surface. These resources are proposed to be used as an alternative source of energy.
Geothermal sources are used in different ways. Some are used for heat supply, while others are used for generating electricity from heat energy.
The advantages of geothermal energy sources are the inexhaustibility of natural resources, as well as the independence from the time of day/year.
The negative aspects include the high mineralization of thermal waters and the presence of toxic compounds in them, which makes it impossible to discharge used water into surface reservoirs. In addition, some seismologists are opposed to any intervention in the deep layers of the Earth, claiming that it can trigger earthquakes.
Wave energy is generated from successive waves generated by the impact of wind on the sea surface and propagating over considerable distances.
A wave power plant located directly in the aquatic environment converts the kinetic energy of waves into electricity. Over time, wave generation may have an annual wattage of 4000 kW (near-shore zones) and several tens of thousands of kW (open sea).
The pros of wave energy are a significant total potential, a power increase during the autumn-winter period of growth in electricity consumption, and the cons are its discontinuity.
As you can see, there is an alternative to traditional energy sources. This gives us hope that in the future humanity will be able to overcome the energy crisis caused by the depletion of non-renewable energy sources!