Joshua Feldman8021/10/18 Research Report Sustainable energy sources are the future of energy production and usage. For my exploratorium project my group wanted to find out which source produces the most energy. For some basis, sustainable energy is energy derived from replenishable sources such as the sun-solar energy, wind-wind power, rivers-hydroelectric power, hot springs-geothermal energy, tides-tidal power, and biomass-biofuels. Each source works better in different conditions and has a large range of practicality, hydroelectric energy is less practical than a solar panel for an average home in the 21st century.
The independent variable is the type of sustainable energy. The three type the team will test are solar panels, micro hydroelectric, and wind turbine. Solar panels collect radiation from the sun capable of producing heat, causing chemical reactions, or generating electricity. The sun is an extremely powerful energy source, and sunlight is by far the largest source of energy received by the Earth, but the intensity at the earth’s surface is actually quite low. This is essentially because of the enormous area for the sun rays to go from the distant Sun. A minor additional loss is due to the earth’s atmosphere and clouds, which absorb or scatter as much as half of the energy producing sunlight.
The total amount of untapped solar energy on earth vastly exceeds the world’s current and anticipated energy requirements. If harnessed, the highly diffused source has the potential to satisfy all our future energy needs. In the 21st century solar energy is expected to become increasingly attractive as an energy source because of its inexhaustible supply and its non polluting character, in stark contrast to the finite fossil fuels coal, petroleum, and natural gas, the current most use energy producers all across the globe. Hydroelectric power is electricity produced from generators powered by turbines that convert the potential energy of fast-flowing water into energy. Water is collected or stored at a higher elevation and led downward through large pipes and tunnels, called penstocks, to a lower elevation. At the end of its passage down the pipes, the falling water causes turbines to rotate.
The turbines in turn drive generators, which convert the turbines’ mechanical energy into electricity. The process is usually done inside large dams but can be made micro to produce smaller quantities. The smaller micro hydroelectric producer is the practical application of extracting energy from water movement. Wind power is a form of energy conversion in which turbines convert the kinetic energy of wind into energy that can be used for power. Wind power is considered a renewable energy source because the wind is a non-pollutant that can be reused infinitely. Wind power in the form of windmills has been used for hundreds of years for such tasks as grinding grain and pumping water. Modern wind turbines produce electricity by using rotational energy to power a generator. They are made up of a blades, a rotor, and a nacelle that contains a drivetrain, the system in anything with a motor that connects the transmission (blades) to the drive axle (rotor),on top of the tall tower.
Large wind turbines, that produce up to 1.8 megawatts of power, can have a blade length of over 40 metres (130 feet) and be placed on towers 80 metres (260 feet) tall. Smaller turbines can be used to provide power to individual homes that is projected to be the most common use. Currently the majority of turbines are in wind farms, areas where wind turbines are grouped together, providing a larger total energy source. The dependant variable of the project is the amount of energy produced.
Measurement of this is done in kilowatt hours. Because the size of the team-built energy producers will be miniscule compared to the actual size once the data on how many kilowatt hours is collected for each producer the team will find the measurements of the average producer in each category and find the measurements of our producers and will scale the kilowatt hours to that size for a better comparison. The two variables relate because the dependant is the tool of measurement for the independent variable. One needs both to form an accurate and meaningful project about sustainable production.