9 Surprising Examples Of Alternative Energy

 

Alternative energy is big on everyone’s minds at the moment because of the strain that the more traditional forms of power are putting on the earth’s resources. Renewable energy comes in many different forms, and most people are aware that it can be sourced from water, the sun and even wind, but the possibilities don’t end there. What many people aren’t aware of is that energy can be converted from a wide range of different sources, and some of them are more surprising than others.

Alternative Energy Fresh water Add SaltSaltwater

One of the most surprising forms of renewable energy can be taken directly from fresh water sources. According to the contributors of What Can Green Energy Do For You;

It has been called saltwater power, osmotic power or blue energy, and it is one of the most promising new sources of renewable power not yet fully tapped.

It might be surprising that salt water is taken from fresh water sources, but the fact is that it is the process of adding the salt to the fresh water that actually gives rise to the energy. Basically, scientists explain it this way; if energy is required to desalinate water, then it is only logical that they can draw energy from the reverse during a process that they have called electrodialysis.

Helioculture

Helioculture was discovered by Joule Biotechnologies, and it is a process whereby hydrocarbons or ethanol is produced. The main aim of this process is to use photosynthesis in order to produce the fuel, and it contains components such as nutrients, brackish water, carbon dioxide, photosynthetic organisms and sunlight.

Vortex Vibration An EddyVortex Vibrations

Those that came up with the idea behind vortex vibrations actually used the movement of fish as inspiration for this form of energy, since it is drawn from slow moving water currents. According to the contributors of Ichsan09;

Eddies, or swirls, form in an alternating pattern, pushing and pulling an object up or down or side to side to create mechanical energy. It works in the same way that fish curve their bodies to glide between the vortices shed by the bodies of the fish in front of them.

They believe that by putting this system in place, people will be able to draw energy from the network of rods placed in a certain position so that the water flows past them. Creative sources of energy often make for the most effective ones, so it is important for scientists to keep their eyes and mind open to all of the possibilities that are out there.

Piezoelectricity

There are about 7 million people on the earth and the kinetic energy formed by the global population has enormous potential. Humans can make piezoelectricity work for them in a variety of ways but one of the most popular is to use materials that will generate a type of electric field whenever it is mechanically stressed. Basically, these materials can be placed on walkways and they will be able to gather energy from the soles of people’s feet as they walk past. The busier a certain walkway is, the more power this will generate; this might be the perfect option for buildings such as malls or even busy sidewalks in city centers.

Urine

Urine might not be the most palatable form of renewable energy but it is definitely worth looking into for its benefits in third world countries and even in rural areas. There is currently a team working on this project from the Heriot-Watt University and they are trying to find out whether this source of energy can be used as a replacement for methanol or hydrogen. According to journalists at the BBC;

The work has concentrated on urea, or carbamide, a mass-manufactured fertilizer and major component in human and animal urine.

Prototypes are being developed at the moment, but it is hoped that this will be utilized in many different industries in the future, particularly since a urea mixture is currently being used by large transportation companies.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

OTEC or Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion basically makes use of the difference in temperature between the shallow and deep waters of the ocean as an aid in heating an engine. In order to make use of this resource, professionals will need to start constructing barges and other platforms at sea, which can be quite costly, but will reap rewards for generations to come.

Solar Power Derived From Space

Out in space, the sun’s rays are always present because they are not regulated by the turning of the earth on its axis. Basically, this type of energy resource is available 24/7, without having to accommodate for days and nights, and so with the right technology, this could be a very profitable energy source.

Geothermal Power

This form of renewable energy can be sourced by actually pumping cold water (with a salt content) into heated rock. When set up with a steam turbine, the energy that is released is able to be produced on a 24/7 basis and it is very easy to control. This form of power is currently being invested in on a large scale at the moment, although there is a current debate about whether it might be causing more harm than good in terms of the environmental impact.

Helium 3

This particle is a nonradioactive isotope that is being explored because it has great potential where clean energy is concerned through nuclear fusion. It should be noted that while this isotope shows great potential, there is a limit to how much of the particle there is currently on earth. The experts know that there is a lot of this available on the moon, although it remains to be seen whether that avenue can be explored in the future.

With traditional energy sources depleting as quickly as they are, it is important to continuously explore other options. No option should be ignored and no stone unturned as humans attempt to ensure that they have energy reserves for generations to come without negatively affecting the world around them.

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