Explaining Renewable Energy

Moore, Elaine A. (2023). Explaining Renewable Energy. Boca Raton, Florida and Abingdon, Oxfordshire: CRC Press Taylor and Francis Group.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1201/9781003294337


Chapter 1
This chapter sets out what is covered and not covered in this book. In addition it explains what a greenhouse gas is.
Chapter 2
This chapter considers two ways of using energy from the Sun. First by using sunlight to produce electricity via photovoltaic cells and second by heating water for homes, thermal solar cells. We discuss how photovoltaic cells work and the different types that are in use or proposed. The materials needed to produce these cells and their advantages and disadvantages are also covered.
Chapter 3
Wind power has been used for centuries in windmills. There are still windmills in use, but here we will look at wind turbines which are used to produce electricity. It looks at the construction of wind turbines and the materials used. How an electricity generator works is introduced. Advantages and disadvantages are considered.
Chapter 4
This chapter covers ways of using the motion of water to provide energy. Just as wind power has been used for centuries to grind corn in windmills, so water power has been used in water mills. This chapter covers the use of water to generate electricity. Types of turbine for water power are introduced.
Water power has been used to generate electricity using hydroelectric dams for over a century. Tides can also be used to generate power. More recently generators using waves are starting to be introduced. Material required and advantages and disadvantages are discussed.
Chapter 5
This chapter is concerned with energy from heat within the earth. It covers spectacular features such as geysers and hot springs but also the use of heat in layers only a few metres beneath our feet. It looks at how heat from all these sources can be used for heating buildings and for producing electricity. The origin of geothermal heat is explained.
Chapter 6
Replacing fossil fuels by hydrogen is an attractive idea. Burning hydrogen produces only water. . However there are no deposits of hydrogen gas and so the hydrogen has to be manufactured. In this chapter, we discuss the ways of preparing, storing, transporting and using hydrogen gas.
Chapter 7
Currently biomass provides the greatest percentage of renewable energy. Biomass is organic materials such as wood, plants such as corn, soya, straw, and waste. These can be used to make biofuels and electricity. This chapter covers the various types of feedstock, when and why the energy produced from biomass is regarded as renewable and the effect of biomass harvesting on the environment.
Chapter 8
Renewable energy sources such as solar cells, wind turbines and tidal generators do not produce electricity continuously. It is useful therefore to store excess energy produced when these sources are producing more than needed and release the energy when the sources are not active or providing less energy than needed. One way to store energy is to use rechargeable batteries. This chapter looks at how batteries work, which types are suitable for storage, the materials needed and current research into alternative types of battery. A second storage method is to use capacitors and this is covered briefly. The third storage method covered involves using water.
Chapter 9
The aim of renewable energy systems is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere, but the replacement of fossil fuel energy sources will not be sufficient to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to an acceptable level over the next 20 years. One way to tackle this is to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This chapter looks at ways of capturing and storing carbon dioxide and reacting it to make useful products.

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