Energy and its transformation (Environmental impact ( Environmental impact…
Energy and its transformation
Energy sources are natural resources from which we obtain different forms of energy that can be transformed for a specific use.
The energy we consume has many different uses
Household uses: The operating of electrical appliances, heating system, etc.
Industrial uses: The operating of factories and companies, construction, etc.
We can classify energy sources in several ways
By use in each country
By availability in nature and capacity for regeneration
By enviromental impact
Electricity is the most widely used form of energy in industrialised societies for two reasons
It can be easily transformed
It can be transported long distances
Electric power plants are facilities where primary and secondary energy is transformed into electricity
Electrical power plants use an external source of energy to produce electricity. To do this, they rely on a turbine-alternator system.
Electric power plants are usually located far away from the points where the energy is used.
Electricity cannot be stored; therefore, it must be transported to consumption centres.
Conventional electric power plants
This type of power plant produces most ot the electricity that we use
There are different types
Nuclear power plants
This type of plant includes a nuclear fission reactor that produces the pressurised steam needed to move the turbine rotor
Their main advantage is the high return on their energy production
Fossil fuel thermal power plants
In this type, water is heated in a boiler by the heat generated from the combustion of a fossil fuel, usually natural gas or coal. The steam that's generated moves the turbine connected to the generator
Hydroelectric power plant
This type of power plant uses the potential energy provided by the height of the stored water in a dam, converting it mto kinetic energy.
Depending on the destination of the water, hydraulic power plants are divided into two types
Pump-driven hydraulic power plants
Gravity-driven hydraulic power plants
Combined cycle power plant
Electricity is generated as a result of two combined cycles, a cycle that uses air and gas, and a conventional thermal cycle. This type of power plant performs better than those with only one cycle.
Non-conventional electric power plant
The enviromental problems caused by conventional power plant have led to the creation and development of non-conventional or alternative energy power plants.
The disadvantage of these power plants is that they generate much less energy, since they use diffuse energy source.
The advantages are that they contaminate much less than conventional power plants, they use renewable sources and they reduce the energy dependence of petroleum and natural gas
There are many types
Geothermal power plants
These plants use the heat found at deep levels in the earth. This heat may reach the surface in the form of steam, gases or hot water. Geothermal energy may be used directly and indirectly
Biomass thermal power plants
Biomass consists of all organic compounds that are produced through natural processes
This type of fuelis burnt at biomass power plants. The steam that is generated moves the turbine. These power plants produce energy from waste that has no other potential uses.
Solar power plants
These plants use the energy from the sun. There are 2 types
There are two types
Photo-thermal power plant
: The heat generated by solar radiation produces stream that is used to move the rotor in the generator
Photovoltaic power plant
: Solar radiation is transformed directly into electricity by panels of photovoltaic cells
Ocean power plants
These power plants use the energy from the seas and the oceans.
The concept is to use three types of energy from the sea
The mechanical energy from the
The mechanical energy from the waves
The energy from the ocean's thermal gradient.
Wind power plants and wind farms
These power plants use the kinetic energy of the wind to move the blades of a rotor at the top of a tower, this is referred to as the wind turbine
The building and operating of an electrical power plant results in an ecological change in that region. This is due both to the construction of the necessary infrastructure and the waste thatthis activity generates.
Environmental impact assessment
As part of a technical project, it´s mandatory to carry out an environmental impact assessment to find out what changes it would provoke in the environment.
An environmental study must also assess both the economic and social consequences of the project in the area, to decide whether or not to go ahead with the plan
Energy consumption is preceded by a long process, consisting of several stages, each of which has an environmental cost.
There are 4 stages
Final energy use
Extraction of natural resources
To reduce the waste generated by
thermal power plants several measures can be taken
Install special filters on the pipes at the pipes at the power plant to capture some of the gas pollutants
Use coal with a low sulphur content, to reduce acid rain
Main tain and increase the size of large forested areas, since they absorb carbon dioxide
There are different possible solutions