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ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

Text 1 WIND POWER Wind power is renewable and non-polluting and can be used to drive wind turbines. Wind farms consisting of numbers of turbines are increasingly being constructed both on land, usually on high ground, and offshore. Wind speeds increase with height, so turbines are mounted on towers, typically 50 to 80 metres in height. (1).. The rotor blades capture the wind and transfer its power to the rotor hub, which is attached to the low-speed shaft of the turbine. (2). . The rotor rotates quite slowly, at about 30 r.p.m. The nacelle, the casing at the top of the tower, contains the most important components, including the gearbox, generator, and computer. The low-speed shaft transmits power from the hub to the gearbox. (3)..... The gearbox increases the speed of the rotor shaft by about 50 times. The high-speed shaft drives the electrical generator. It has a mechanical disc brake for emergency use. The generator produces electricity by electromagnetic induction. On a large turbine, the power generated is between 600 kW and 3,000 kW. (4).. . The anemometer and wind vane on top of the nacelle measure the speed and direction of the wind respectively and send this information to the computer. The computer activates the yaw motor, which turns the rotor into the wind. It starts the turbine when the wind reaches about five metres per second. The computer continuously monitors the conditions of the turbine. (5). .. If the wind reaches storm force, about 25 metres per second, the computer closes down the turbine to prevent damage.
Adapted from E.H.Glendinning and Alison Pohl: Technology (2), OUP 2008

Where do these sentences fit in the text? (A) It contains pipes for the hydraulic system, which operates the aerodynamic brakes. (B) The power is sent by cable to the national grid. (C) It controls the speed of the rotor by varying the pitch of the blades. (D) Most towers are tubular to allow safe access for maintenance. (E) Each rotor blade measures about 27 metres in length and is designed much like an aeroplane wing. Use information from the text and your own knowledge to answer the questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Why are some wind farms constructed offshore? Why is a gearbox necessary? What is the difference between the anemometre and the wind vane? Why does the yaw mechanism turn the turbine into the wind? What arguments could you list against wind farms?

Read the following text and answer the questions

Britons 'in favour of wind farms'


Three-quarters of Britons believe wind farms are necessary to help meet demand for energy, a survey by the British Wind Energy Association suggests. The body claims the vast majority of the public feels the need for clean sources of renewable energy. The study also suggests 70% of those polled would support the creation of a wind farm in their area. But opponents of wind farms say they are unsightly and point out that wind is an unreliable source of power. Two surveys have been merged into the study: one by World survey on behalf of BWEA, and one by ICM Research on behalf of Greenpeace. Both polls were carried out in the month of August, each involving 1,000 adults. Chief executive, Marcus Rand, said: "Time is running out on climate change and wind power is essential to averting its potential impacts. "Britain has the best wind resource in Europe - it's everlasting, on our doorstep and ready to use now. "By embracing wind, we will increase our nation's energy security and create thousands of new jobs in Britain, but we need to act now." The chair of campaign group Country Guardian, Angela Kelly, told BBC News Online: "Most of the public have not studied the facts. "But the more the public discover the truth about wind farms, the less they want them. "The Achilles' heel of wind power is you cannot predict it even 10 minutes in advance, so it has to be backed up at all times by a secure supply of electricity and you cannot afford to shut down any existing power plants. "We already have more than 1,100 wind turbines in this country and they do not even produce enough juice to run one factory. "The power generated is at such a high cost that it is only economically viable by virtue of a package of subsidies that, according to official figures, will be worth 1bn in 10 years' time. "This must be found from the consumer to boost the profits of a few multinational corporations and shrewd investors." Ms Kelly added: "I am not prepared to see inappropriate and unnecessary industrialisation reduce the UK's unique and varying landscape to a common denominator of cloned mechanical monsters." TV presenter Chris Tarrant added that the campaign aimed to challenge the myths and prejudices about wind turbines, and show that the majority of the public welcome the spread of this clean source of energy. Members of the public will be able to sign a petition at the Embrace The Revolution website, and the names of every supporter will go on four new turbines to be set up in 2005. The architects behind the London Eye, David Marks and Julia Barfield, said they believed the current wind turbine technology represented "the best environmentally sustainable and economically viable source of renewable energy". "That is why we are actively exploring ways to incorporate wind turbines within landmark buildings that we are designing today," they added. TV botanist David Bellamy recently led a march in south Wales to oppose plans to build wind turbines on a mountain. The protest was led by campaigning group Save Our Common Mountain Environment (Socme), which claims that wind farms will push up energy prices and that they ruin landscapes and kill birds and bats. They also say that wind is an unpredictable and therefore unreliable source of power, and that turbines can be damaged or even knocked down by storms.
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But some local communities have reacted positively to the introduction of the turbines. Margaret Munn, a councillor in Ardrossan, Ayrshire, said her community had "overwhelmingly accepted" a new wind farm. "Instead of spoiling the landscape, we believe it has been enhanced," she said. "The turbines are impressive-looking, bring a calming effect to the town and, contrary to the belief that they would be noisy, we have found them to be silent workhorses."
Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk Published: 2004/09/20

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feladat

Olvassa el a Britons in favour of wind farms cm szveget, majd jellje be a tblzatba a plda (0) szerint, hogy a felsorolt emberek tmogatjk vagy ellenzik a szlenergiaermveket! Nevek Tmogatjk Ellenzik 0 Marcus Rand X 1. David Bellamy 2. David Marks 3. Julia Barfield 4. Margaret Munn 5. Angela Kelly 6. Chris Tarrant II. feladat

Olvassa el ismt a szveget, majd vlaszoljon a krdsekre rviden (3 4 szval) a megadott plda (0) szerint! Krdsek Vlaszok Who took part in the study? 0. BWEA and Greenpeace How many people were questioned in the 7. surveys? What is the most serious argument against 8 wind power stations? How do architects plan to design new 9 landmark buildings? What will happen if somebody signs the 10. petitions at the Embrace the Revolution website? Why can wind turbines improve the 11. landscape?

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SOLAR POWER

1. Solar energy is free although there is a cost in the building of collectors and other equipment required to convert solar energy into electricity or hot water. 2. Solar energy does not cause pollution. However, solar collectors and other associated equipment / machines are manufactured in factories that in turn cause some pollution. 3. Solar energy can be used in remote areas where it is too expensive to extend the electricity power grid. 4. Many everyday items such as calculators and other low power consuming devices can be powered by solar energy effectively. 5. It is estimated that the worlds oil reserves will last for 30 to 40 years. On the other hand, solar energy is infinite (forever).

1. Solar energy can only be harnessed when it is daytime and sunny. 2. Solar collectors, panels and cells are relatively expensive to manufacture although prices are falling rapidly. 3. Solar power stations can be built but they do not match the power output of similar sized conventional power stations. They are also very expensive. 4. In countries such as the UK, the unreliable climate means that solar energy is also unreliable as a source of energy. Cloudy skies reduce its effectiveness. 5. Large areas of land are required to capture the suns energy. Collectors are usually arranged together especially when electricity is to be produced and used in the same location. 6. Solar power is used to charge batteries so that solar powered devices can be used at night. However, the batteries are large and heavy and need storage space. They also need replacing from time to time. QUESTIONS: 1. What is your opinion of solar energy? 2. Do you think solar energy will answer the worlds energy crisis? 3. Does solar power cause any pollution or damage to the environment? 4. Research the internet to find information / pictures on unusual solar powered devices. Present this information using software of your choice. 5. What devices in the future will be solar powered? Explain your reasoning.

Text 2 SOLAR ENERGY A In the world of large-scale alternative energy, wind reigns supreme, mostly because it's cheaper. But a recent development in solar-energy production could make solar power a far more viable option. B In most cases, the sun's energy is converted into electricity in one of the two ways: using photovoltaic cells, which turn the sun's light into electricity using a semiconductor material that absorbs photons and releases electrons; or using solar-thermal turbines, which use the sun's heat to generate steam, which then spins a turbine to produce electricity. It's the solar-thermal power plant that is expected to achieve a breakthrough in energy industry. C The big problem with solar power is the most obvious one: The sun doesn't shine all the time. At nighttime or on cloudy days, power plants simply can't access the sun's energy. This makes solar power expensive, since the power plants can't run 24/7. A cloud floats overhead and the plant is suddenly at an energy standstill, producing nothing. It also makes solar-generated power unavailable at times -- like at night, when power demand is greatest. D The solution is a simple one: Store the sun's energy so you can use it when the sun's not available. Unfortunately, implementing that solution has been extremely problematic -- until a recent breakthrough made solar-energy storage a realistic option for the energy industry.The idea of storing the sun's energy is nothing new. People have been trying to devise a way to pause the process -- hold onto the energy in sunlight for a while before converting it to electricity -- for as long as solar power has been an electricity option. All previous attempts, though, have been prohibitively problematic. E Some have tried to store the sun's energy by using it to pump water uphill, where the energy stays until the water moves back downhill, releasing it. Compressing and then un-compressing air is another option. But both of those methods waste energy -- only about 80 percent of the solar power put in is recovered on the other end. Batteries are also extremely inefficient, making them too expensive to be a viable large-scale storage option. You can store as much energy in a coffee thermos as in a laptop battery, which costs 10 times as much .

Match the titles with the paragraphs (A-E).

TITLE No energy at night Too much energy waste Methods of electricity production Implementation problem Sun vs.Wind Text 3

Paraghraph

ANDASOL 1 The Andasol 1 plant in Spain started generating power in November 2008, and as long as the sun is shining, it operates pretty much like any other solar-thermal power plant. Sunlight strikes some sort of solar collector -- in this case, a field of parabolic-trough mirrors focused on tubes filled with oil, which warms to more than 752 degrees Farenheit (400 degrees Celsius). That hot oil is used to boil water, which produces steam, which spins a turbine.It's only when the sun isn't shining that the storage system affects power generation. The setup goes like this: Put the sentences into the right order (A-E) to describe the process. The field of solar collectors at Andasol 1 is big enough to collect almost twice as much sunlight as the plant needs to operate during sunny times. The extra heated oil is sent to A, That salt is pumped into the heat exchanger, where it picks up heat from the oil. The now hotter molten salt (752 degrees F or 400 degrees C) flows into the second vat, where it waits until the sun dips behind a cloud. B, When the power plant needs the stored heat, the hotter molten salt is pumped back through the heat exchanger. C, The process then starts all over. D, a heat exchanger running between giant vats of molten salt. One vat holds relatively cool molten salt (about 500 degrees F or 260 degrees C). E, . There, it transfers its heat to the oil that will generate steam. The hotter oil travels to the power center, and the now-cooler molten salt flows back into the cooler tank. Using salt to store the sun's heat, the plant can operate without sunlight, running almost twice as long as other solar power plants. The salt-storage setup lets Andasol 1 generate 50 percent more energy than it would without it -- 178,000 megawatt-hours of electricity. That extra generating ability lowers the overall cost of the plant's electricity. It could eventually rival the cost of naturalgas power.This type of salt storage isn't the only design on the table for storing the sun's energy. Some plants are looking at using a more direct approach that skips the oil -- they would both collect and store the sun's heat in salt. Sand is another potential heat-storage material. And another group has developed a system that mimics the molecular effects of photosynthesis to store solar power: It 6

uses sunlight to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, which are then put back together in a fuel cell. TRUE/FALSE 1. Solar power plants cannot operate when it is dark. 2. All solar powers use a heat- storing material. 3. Gas power stations generate electricity at a far lower cost than Andasol. 4. The heat storage capacity of sand is good. Photovoltaic Cells: Converting Photons to Electrons The solar cells that you see on calculators and satellites are also called photovoltaic (PV) cells, which as the name implies (photo meaning "light" and voltaic meaning "electricity"), convert sunlight directly into electricity. A module is a group of cells connected electrically and packaged into a frame (more commonly known as a solar panel), which can then be grouped into larger solar arrays, like the one operating at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Photovoltaic cells are made of special materials called semiconductors such as silicon, which is currently used most commonly. Basically, when light strikes the cell, a certain portion of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material. This means that the energy of the absorbed light is transferred to the semiconductor. The energy knocks electrons loose, allowing them to flow freely. PV cells also all have one or more electric field that acts to force electrons freed by light absorption to flow in a certain direction. This flow of electrons is a current, and by placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the PV cell, we can draw that current off for external use, say, to power a calculator. This current, together with the cell's voltage (which is a result of its built-in electric field or fields), defines the power (or wattage) that the solar cell can produce. Fill in the table. Give short answers to the questions. Where can you meet solar cells in everyday life? What is a solar panel? How do the cells operate? How can the current be directed for outside use? What does the power of the cell depend on? 12 1. .. 2

HYDROELECTRCITY AND TIDAL POWER Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy. Once a hydroelectric complex is constructed, the project produces no direct waste, and has a considerably lower output level of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) than fossil fuel powered energy plants.

Tidal power, also called tidal energy, is a form of hydropower that converts the energy of tides into useful forms of power - mainly electricity. Tidal power is extracted from the Earth's oceanic tides; tidal forces are periodic variations in gravitational attraction exerted by celestial bodies. These forces create corresponding motions or currents in the world's oceans. The magnitude and character of this motion reflects the changing positions of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth, the effects of Earth's rotation, and local geography of the sea floor and coastlines.

A comparison of hydro-electric and tidal power


In addition to the established energy sources such as gas, coal, oil and nuclear there are a number of other sources that we ought to consider. Two of there are hydro electric and tidal power. These two sources are similar in that they are both renewable. However, hydro-power is more widely used than tidal. In fact a substantial amount of electricity is already produced in HEP stations world-wide, whereas tidal stations are still in the very early stages of development. As far as geographical location is concerned, HEP schemes are to be found on lakes and rivers, while tidal schemes are constructed only in estuaries where tidal variation is great. Unfortunately these are few in number. At present HEP stations are found mainly in Norway, Canada, Sweden, and Brazil, whereas tidal plants are in operation in France, Russia and China. As regards capital outlay, both require very high investment. On the other hand, generating costs are quite low in both cases. In fact, a large-scale HEP plant is capable of producing power more cheaply than conventional sources, such as coal, oil and nuclear plants. Tidal power also compares favourably with nuclear and oil generated electricity, in terms of production costs. Like HEP stations, tidal barrages have a long life-expectancy. It is estimated that they can operate for over 100 years. With respect to continuity of supply, tidal stations differ from HEP schemes in that 8

they often can only supply power intermittently. HEP stations, however, provide a constant supply of electricity. Turning now to environmental impact, tidal plants do not seem to create too many problems. In contrast, HEP stations often involve the flooding of large amounts of agricultural land, the destruction of ecological habitats, and may even cause a change in the climate of the area. Both tidal power and HEP have one big disadvantage, in that of the demand for power exists at any distance from the generating plant, transmitting the electricity is expensive.

Wind Power vs. Tidal Power


The rapidly dwindling supply of fossil fuels and resultant BP oil spill has caused many people to look into alternative fuel sources, and wind power and tidal power are two of the options that have been considered for further study. While both technologies appear to hold a lot of promise for the future, much work and research still has to be done before they can be put to good use. This comparison article shows the relative advantages and disadvantages of each.

Benefits
The main benefit of wind power and tidal power is that they both utilize essentially free and inexhaustible energy sources. This means that they do not require fossil fuels in order to work. Wind power also has the benefit of not emitting any waste products or greenhouse gases, and the land surrounding the wind generators can still be used for farming crops. In addition, wind farms can serve as tourist attractions of sorts. Wind generators are also ideally suited to the task of providing energy to remote areas. As for tidal power, it may be able to provide a considerable amount of the energy needs of a country. In Great Britain for instance, tidal power can potentially supply up to 20% of the country's energy needs. Tidal power also leaves the surrounding areas free for agricultural use, and unlike wind power it is totally predictable.

How It Works
Wind power basically relies on the wind to power propeller equipped turbines that produce electricity. The more towers are built and the more wind there is, the greater the energy output. Using larger propellers will also increase the amount of energy produced. Tidal power works on the same principle as a hydro-electric plant, although is requires a much bigger dam. The action of the tides either causes a turbine to turn directly, or it may cause air to be pumped through a pipe, generating electricity.

Drawbacks
The main disadvantage of wind power is that the wind isn't always constant, nor is it predictable. Wind power generators are also ideally located on coastal areas, where land is usually more expensive. Other drawbacks to wind power are its noise and adverse effects on television reception. Tidal power isn't any more constant either, and they only function when the tide is flowing. The process of converting tidal power into usable electricity also isn't that easy. In addition, tidal power generators have a negative effect on the surrounding areas ecosystem.

Wind Power

Relies on a free resource Needs no fuel No waste or greenhouse gas emissions Preserves land for farm use May serve as a tourist attraction Makes it possible to supply energy to remote areas Isn't always predictable

Tidal Power

Relies on a free and abundant energy source May provide enough power to supply a considerable amount of a country's energy needs Converting tidal energy into electrical power isn't easy May adversely affect animal habitats in the area

Wastewater Treatment Plant - Christchurch, New Zealand

http://www1.ccc.govt.nz/WasteWater/TreatmentPlant/FlowDiagram.asp

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Read the text about wastewater treatment and match the headings to the paragraphs with the help of the flowchart above a) Solids treatment b) Wastewater Treatment Plant c) Odour treatment d) Preliminary treatment e) Oxidation ponds f) Primary treatment g) Secondary treatment i) Discharge to Estuary 1. In Christchurch, sewage (which is almost all water) is carried through a network of underground pipes and pumps to the Christchurch Wastewater Treatment Plant, where it is processed. Over 90 pumping stations pump the sewage from low areas around the city, particularly near the Avon and Heathcote Rivers. Five terminal pumping stations then pump all the flow to the Treatment Plant. 2. The sewage passes through four fine screens that remove debris from the flow. The next stage takes place in the grit removal tanks, where air is injected along the sides of the tank. The air creates a spiral current in the tank that assists in removing fat, grease and grit. The debris from the screens and grit from the tanks is composted in the Hot Rot machine, which converts the material to a high quality compost. 3. The sewage now enters the primary sedimentation tanks. The suspended organic matter settles to the bottom of the tank where a slow moving scraper drags this raw sludge to a hopper at the inlet end of the tank. 4. From the primary sedimentation tanks the effluent flows in a channel to large pumps that push the flow to the top of two trickling filter towers. These are packed with a plastic media that the liquid trickles through. Naturally occurring bacteria live on the plastic media and feed on dissolved pollution in the wastewater. This process converts the dissolved pollution into biological solids that can be settled. The filter effluent then passes through fine bubble contact tanks. Air is blown into the bottom of the tanks, and oxygen is transferred from the bubbles into the wastewater. This part of the process removes more of the pollution load and improves the settling of the biological solids in the final clarifiers. 5. All major sources of foul air are enclosed and pumped through soil and bark filters where the odorous compounds are absorbed onto soil particles and destroyed by naturally-occurring soil bacteria. 6. Raw sludge from the primary sedimentation tanks and the biological solids from the final clarifiers are pumped into large enclosed heated tanks called digesters. Two of these digesters operate at 550C and four operate at 380C. Bacteria that thrive under these conditions break down the organic matter over a period of days, releasing carbon dioxide and methane, and changing the decaying solids into 'biosolids' that are applied to land as a fertiliser. The methane produced in the digestion process is used as a fuel for engines, producing power for the plant and the national grid. Heat recovered from the engines is used to heat the digesters. 7. 11

After secondary treatment, the flow of cleaned wastewater passes through a series of seven ponds covering 220 hectares. The pond system removes a portion of the remaining pollution load, and zooplankton and the sun's ultraviolet radiation provide an inhospitable environment for disease-causing micro-organisms, whose numbers are reduced by 99.999%. Oxygen concentration in the ponds is maintained by a combination of mechanical aerators, windinduced surface aeration and the photosynthetic action of naturally occurring algae. The oxidation ponds also encompass the Te Huinga Manu Wildlife Refuge, an important habitat for a variety of bird species. 8. Discharge into the Estuary of the Avon and Heathcote Rivers occurs twice a day around high tide. The discharge to Estuary will be soon be replaced by a direct Ocean Outfall that will discharge the treated wastewater 3 km off shore.

Geothermal Energy
Heat from the Earth, or geothermal Geo (Earth) + thermal (heat) energy, is accessed by drilling water or steam wells in a process similar to drilling for oil. Geothermal energy is an enormous, underused heat and power resource that is clean (emits little or no greenhouse gases), reliable (average system availability of 95%), and homegrown (making us less dependent on foreign oil). Geothermal resources range from shallow ground to hot water and rock several miles below the Earth's surface, and even farther down to the extremely hot molten rock called magma. Mile-or-moredeep wells can be drilled into underground reservoirs to tap steam and very hot water that can be brought to the surface for use in a variety of applications. Power Plants Generate Electricity from Geothermal Reservoirs Mile-or-more-deep wells can be drilled into underground reservoirs to tap steam and very hot water that drive turbines that drive electricity generators. Three types of power plants are operating today: Dry steam plants, which directly use geothermal steam to turn turbines; Flash steam plants, which pull deep, high-pressure hot water into lower-pressure tanks and use the resulting flashed steam to drive turbines; and Binary-cycle plants, which pass moderately hot geothermal water by a secondary fluid with a much lower boiling point than water. This causes the secondary fluid to flash to vapor, which then drives the turbines. Direct-Use Piped Hot Water Warms Greenhouses and Melts Sidewalk Snow Hot water near Earth's surface can be piped directly into facilities and used to heat buildings, grow plants in greenhouses, dehydrate onions and garlic and heat water for fish farming. Some cities pipe the hot water under roads and sidewalks to melt snow. District heating applications use networks of piped hot water to heat buildings in whole communities. Geothermal Heat Pumps Use Shallow Ground Energy to Heat & Cool Buildings Almost everywhere, the upper 10 feet of Earth's surface maintains a nearly constant temperature between 50 and 60F (10 and 16C). A geothermal heat pump (GHP) system consists of pipes buried in the shallow ground near the building, a heat exchanger, and ductwork into the building. In winter, heat from the relatively warmer ground goes through 12

the heat exchanger into the house. In summer, hot air from the house is pulled through the heat exchanger into the relatively cooler ground. Heat removed during the summer can be used as no-cost energy to heat water. The Future of Geothermal Energy The three technologies discussed above use only a tiny fraction of the total geothermal resource. Several miles everywhere beneath Earth's surface is hot, dry rock being heated by the molten magma directly below it. Technology is being developed to drill into this rock, inject cold water down one well, circulate it through the hot, fractured rock, and draw off the heated water from another well. Pros & Cons Once produced, geothermal energy is nearly completely non-polluting. Geothermal power plants are relatively inexpensive to operate. The energy is technically renewable and can be used as a direct power source. These power plants are environmentally-friendly and leave few carbon footprints. However, technology only makes geothermal energy available from certain regions on the planet. Initial drilling costs are expensive and the process is complex. Although the Earth's heat is ever-present, current or future geothermal sites may not be continuous sources of heat. While some consider geothermal energy the most cost-efficient and non-polluting, there is as yet no guarantee that possible sites will provide desired quantities.
Adapted mainly from: http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/geothermal_basics.html

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