Alternative Energy

Alternative Energy: Water Power

What is Water Power ?

Water power ranges from hydroelectric electricity generated from dams on rivers or lakes and now starting to harness the tides around the uk through to the latest technology harnessing the power of waves in the sea

How is Water Power Harnessed ?

Hydroelectric Flowing of the water that makes the whole system work. Water is allowed to flow in a controlled manner onto blades of some kind attached to a turbine which is then used to create electricity Hydroelectric power dates back to the early 1900s but the use of water to provide mechanical power of falling water dates back more than 2000 years as a means of grinding corn.

Wave Power

Ocean wave energy conversion for utility scale power generation is now becoming a commercial technology. A 75 kW shore-based demonstration plant by Queens University, Belfast, using the OWC process described above has operated on the Scottish island of Islay for 10 years A very simplistic description of how it works is as a buoy goes up and down in the waves it compresses air which then turns a turbine and creates electricity

Where is Water Power used ?

Hydroelectric plants are dotted around the UK on our rivers but the largest and most commercially viable are in Scotland There is the possibility of turning some of our disused water mills to create small power plants is still an expensive option but as our natural resources of fossel fuels continue to dwindle they may come to the fore Wave energy is still in its infancy as a power source but has unlimited potential due to the fact the UK is an island with the ocean all around

Why has hydroelectricity production not increased in the UK to the level we would expect ?

We only have small areas of the UK with all the needed constituents to produce hydroelectricity using dams , but the advance in wave power technology in the UK could mean in 30 years hydroelectricity through wave power could become a major source of power for us External links to good sources of information

Alternative Energy: Wind Power

What is Wind Power ?

A device for converting wind power to mechanical rotation with a low velocity turbine designed for compressible fluids (air). It is a device for producing renewable energy in the form of electric power and is a component of one of the newest forms of power plant to be put into operation.

How is Wind Power Harnessed ?

A wind Turbine is made of large propellors that are turned with the power of the wind often made from graphite due to its light weight and durability. Often you will find many hundred on a wind farm used to drive a generator to make electricity.

Where is Wind Power used ?

There are wind farms all over the world some in the USA stretch for miles and can be slightly eirie to look at , there are now a number of wind farms in the UK, and although they do help to reduce the use of carbon fossel fuel some conservationists are not happy due to the loss of natural habitats for wildlife.

How many wind turbines in the UK and current output ?

There are currently 1125 wind turbines in the UK producing 772.4 Megawatts which is enough to power 440,000 homes this is about 0.5% of total electricity in the UK. The current growth is in offshore wind farms as this will not use the land mass required.

Why have wind farms not increased to the level we would expect ?

To run efficient wind farms you need large areas of land with a steady wind flow , and in the UK due to the cost of land and pressure from the other areas of the economy they have not taken off as quickly , but in areas of the