Energy Sources and Related Information +

(concern over the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels has resulted in looking for alternative fuels that are less polluting)

Renewable energy sources like wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen and biomass play an important role in the future of our world

Tomorrow's generation of automobiles and trucks will have to be cleaner and much more efficient if the United States, and the world, is to strengthen its energy security and continue to improve its environment.

electric generation industry
Stationary and mobile generating units that are connected to the electric power grid and can generate electricity.

The electric generation industry includes the "electric power sector" (utility generators and independent power producers) and industrial and commercial power generators, including combined-heat-and-power producers, but excluding units at single-family dwellings.

electric hybrid vehicle
An electric vehicle that either operates solely on electricity, but contains an internal combustion motor that generates additional electricity (series hybrid); or it contains an electric system and an internal combustion system and is capable of operating on either system (a parallel hybrid).
electric motor vehicle
A motor vehicle powered by an electric motor that draws current from rechargeable storage batteries, fuel cells, photovoltaic arrays, or other sources of electric current.
The capability of doing work; different forms of energy can be converted to other forms, but the total amount of energy remains the same.

Energy has several forms, some of which are easily convertible and can be changed to another form useful for work.

Most of the world's convertible energy comes from fossil fuels that are burned to produce heat that is then used as a transfer medium to mechanical or other means in order to accomplish tasks.

Electrical energy is usually measured in kilowatt hours, while heat energy is usually measured in British thermal units (Btu).

extractive industries
Industries involved in the activities of (1) prospecting and exploring for wasting (non-regenerative) natural resources, (2) acquiring them, (3) further exploring them, (4) developing them, and (5) producing (extracting) them from the earth.

The term does not include the industries of forestry, fishing, agriculture, animal husbandry, or any others that might be involved with resources of a regenerative nature.

fluorescent lamp
A glass enclosure in which light is produced when electricity is passed through mercury vapor inside the enclosure.

The electricity creates a radiation discharge that strikes a coating on the inside surface of the enclosure, causing the coating to glow.

Traditional fluorescent lamps are usually straight or circular white glass tubes used in fixtures specially designed for them.

A newer type of fluorescent lamp, the compact fluorescent lamp, takes up much less room, comes in many differently-shaped configurations, and is designed to be used in some fixtures originally intended to hold incandescent lamps.

fuel injection, electronic fuel injection
A fuel delivery system whereby gasoline is pumped to one or more fuel injectors under high pressure.

The fuel injectors are valves that, at the appropriate times, open to allow fuel to be sprayed or atomized into a throttle bore or into the intake manifold ports.

The fuel injectors are usually solenoid operated valves under the control of the vehicle's on-board computer resulting in "electronic fuel injection".

The fuel efficiency of fuel injection systems is less temperature-dependent than carburetor systems. Diesel engines always use injectors.

A type of geothermal resource occurring in deep basins in which the fluid is under very high pressure.
Energy which is generated from heat from inside the earth.

This form of energy is both clean, sustainable, and renewable and the technology has caught on in countries with substantial geothermal activity; such as Iceland, where it accounted for 54 percent of primary energy use.

Resources of geothermal energy range from the shallow depths of hot water and hot rock found a few miles beneath the earth's surface, and down even deeper to the extremely high temperatures of molten rock called magma.

In the United States, the best sources for geothermal power are in the west, where there are many underground lakes of heated water; however, large-scale access would require drilling.

A major goal is to find a way to harness energy directly from magma (molten rock material), which has great potential because of its high temperature.

geothermal heat pump
A heat pump in which the refrigerant exchanges heat (in a heat exchanger) with a fluid circulating through an earth connection medium (ground or ground water).

The fluid is contained in a variety of loop (pipe) configurations depending on the temperature of the ground and the ground area available.

Loops may be installed horizontally or vertically in the ground or submersed in a body of water.

An organic chemical compound of hydrogen and carbon in the gaseous, liquid, or solid phase.

The molecular structure of hydrocarbon compounds varies from the simplest (methane, a constituent of natural gas) to the very heavy and very complex.

hydropower, hydroelectric power
The use of flowing water to produce electrical energy.

History of Hydropower

People have been harnessing water to perform work for thousands of years. The Greeks used water wheels for grinding wheat into flour more than 2,000 years ago.

Besides grinding flour, the power of water was used to saw wood and power textile mills and manufacturing plants.

For more than a century, the technology for using falling water to create hydroelectricity has existed. The evolution of the modern hydropower turbine began in the mid-1700s when a French hydraulic and military engineer, Bernard Forest de Bélidor wrote Architecture Hydraulique. In this four volume work, he described using a vertical-axis versus a horizontal-axis machine.

During the 1700s and 1800s, water turbine development continued. In 1880, a brush arc light dynamo driven by a water turbine was used to provide theater and storefront lighting in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and in 1881, a brush dynamo connected to a turbine in a flour mill provided street lighting at Niagara Falls, New York. These two projects used direct-current technology.

Alternating current is used today. That breakthrough came when the electric generator was coupled to the turbine, which resulted in the world's, and the United States', first hydroelectric plant located in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1882.

—Compiled from information located in the
"Technologies", "History of Hydropower";
U.S. Department of Energy.
incandescent lamp
A glass enclosure in which light is produced when a tungsten filament is electrically heated so that it glows.

Much of the energy is converted into heat; therefore, this class of lamp is a relatively inefficient source of light.

Included in this category are the familiar screw-in light bulbs, as well as somewhat more efficient lamps, such as tungsten halogen lamps, reflector or r-lamps, parabolic aluminized reflector (PAR) lamps, and ellipsoidal reflector (ER) lamps.

Any material or substance that provides a high resistance to the flow of heat from one surface to another.

The different types of insulation include blanket or batt, foam, or loose fill, which are used to reduce heat transfer by conduction.

Dead air space is an insulating medium in storm windows and storms as it reduces passage of heat through conduction and convection. Reflective materials are used to reduce heat transfer by radiation.

A material that is a very poor conductor of electricity.

The insulating material is usually composed of ceramic or fiberglass used in a transmission line and is designed to support a conductor physically and to separate it electrically from other conductors and supporting materials.

—Based on and compiled from information located in the
"Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy";
"Energy Sources"; U.S. Department of Energy.

Index of additional Scientific and Technological Topics.

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