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What are the Non- Conventional Energy Sources?

by Sonali

The Non-Conventional Energy Sources are those which are available for us at any time and are free of cost. They are also called as Renewable Source of energy. Some of these sources are as follows

Solar energy:

This is one of the renewable sources of energy. The energy from renewable energy sources helps to generate power. This energy is easily available and also it is free of cost available to us. This energy is in two forms: solar thermal energy and solar electric energy.

I)     Solar Thermal Energy:

The solar devices convert the solar energy to thermal energy with the help of solar devices. The list of some devices is below

a)     Solar water heater: These water heaters use solar energy to heat water and then can be used for various purposes. They are used in hotels, dairies, industries etc. There is a solar collector present on the rooftop to take the sunlight. The collector contains tubes carrying the liquid which we need to heat. The heat is generated in the collector which passes through the tubes containing fluid. There is an insulated tank to store this hot water.

b)    Solar cooker: They are used to cook food using sunlight. The types of solar cooker on the basis of construction are box and parabolic type. The box type cooker has black paint to absorb more heat and cook the food. The parabolic type solar cooker has a collector parabolic form which accommodates the cooking vessel at its focal point. The heat from the sun is directed towards a secondary reflector which is inside the kitchen. It then focuses the heat to the bottom of the cooking pot. It is also possible to actually fry, bake and roast food.

Solar Cooker

II)            Solar Electric Energy:

a)    Solar Photovoltaic: As soon as PV cells comes in contact with the light, which produces the electrons and resulting in production of current. The cell has a coating with a metal grid to direct the flow of current. The connection of these cells is either in series or parallel.  The installation of these PV panels is above the roof. The generation of power depends upon the amount of heat received from the sun. 

b)    Solar water pumps: The motor required to run the pump uses electricity generated by solar panels. It consists of a photovoltaic array mounted on a stand and a motor-pump set compatible with the photovoltaic array. The generation of electricity is through the solar energy which runs the motor pump set. The water from the open well, bore well, stream, pond, canal etc. is drawn from the pumping system.

Wind Energy:

Most commonly wind turbines are used. There are two types of turbines: the vertical axis wind turbine which has a rotational vertical axis. The other is the horizontal rotational axis. The principle behind the generation of wind electric generators is to convert kinetic energy to electrical energy. This is then done with the circuit having components: a rotor, gearbox and generator. Then the generation of power depends upon the speed of wind. Wind turbines for remote homes (off the grid) also generate DC current for battery charging. The wind turbines which are for residential or villages are having the power range from 500 Watts to 50 kW.

Ocean Energy:

The ocean waves, tides or thermal energy provide energy to the ocean. The ocean contains two types of energy: thermal energy from the sun and mechanical energy from tides. Then ocean’s energy produces electricity by closed loop system, open loop system or hybrid type. Then the oceans warm surface water produces vapors from the working fluid (ammonia).

The turbines run when the vapors expand. It generates the electricity when the turbine activates the generator and produces electricity. Then at low pressure the sea water comes to boil in an open cycle system. The Steam generated further produces steam in the turbines. The hybrid systems are combinations of both open and closed cycle systems. World’s largest program for renewable energy is in India. There are many programs for renewable energy sources in various villages and cities in India. Also, Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Sources (MNES) created in 1992 for all matters relating to Non-Conventional / Renewable Energy. The Government of India also created Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA). This government body assists and also provide financial assistance in the form of subsidy. They also offer low interest loan for renewable energy projects.

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