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SEMESTER 1 2013-2014


Sources Of Energy

ARW Group No



Name of Student

Matric Number

Bong Kuek Kong


Leong Geok Teng


Sim Joo Ern


Assignment deadline

12th November 2014

Assignment submitted on

12th November 2014


Sources Of Energy
There are a lot of energy sources on earth. These sources are important to human for certain
propose. The largest contribution of energy sources to human is to generate electricity. In
general, energy sources can be categorized into two major components that are renewable
energy and non-renewable energy. Renewable energy is further divided into five components
of energy which are solar energy, wind energy, hydro energy, biomass energy and geothermal
energy. Fossil fuel and nuclear power are classified under non-renewable energy (refer to
Figure 1 in Appendix 1).
The first type of renewable energy is solar energy. Ngo (2010) stated that solar energy can
be used to produce both heat and electricity- solar thermal and photovoltaic energy (p. 36).
Solar thermal is defined as mechanical systems that used to collect and concentrate solar
energy (Fanchi, 2005). Fanchi (2005) explain that the solar heating system uses solar energy
to heat a liquid coolant and the heat exchanger uses heat from liquid coolant such as water or
anti-freeze in the primary circulation to heat water in the secondary circulation system (p.
82). Electricity can be produced by using solar thermal energy through thermodynamics
process and this can be achieved by concentrating sunlight with mirrors (Ngo, 2010).
Photovoltaic is the solar electric technology that converts sunlight directly into electrical
energy (Fanchi, 2005). Ngo (2010) explains that
Photovoltaic is a very useful source of energy for remote areas because it saves the
need the need to invest in kilometres of electric cable. Photovoltaic is a decentralised
energy source, useful in sunny areas for relatively low energy requirements. It can
provide some lighting, drive a water pump and run a refrigerator to preserve drugs and
vaccines- or any equipment that needs only around 1kWh/day. (p. 38)
Therefore, solar energy is considered as renewable energy that can benefit to society.
Another renewable energy is wind energy. Windmills are used to generate the electricity as
the wind blade that rotated by the wind force. The alternator will rotate once the wind blade is
rotating. The rotating alternator will produce electricity. This concept converting wind energy
to electrical energy is found out by Lord Kelvin in 1802, the wind energy generator became
more efficient in 1850 with the appearance of dynamo (Ngo, 2008). World Wind Energy
Association stated that in June 2012, China has around 67.7 GW of wind capacity from its
installations which is consider as the largest wind market size in the world. Wind energy

required a lot of cost for the installation the windmills and maintenance is needed after a
period of time to maintain the efficient the power output.
Apart from that, hydro energy is also one of the renewable energy. Hydro energy required a
dam to retain the water in a natural. The dams are usually built near to the river. As the river
water inside the dam is rising, the potential energy of the river water also increase. So, the
primary form of energy is potential (Sorensen, 2010). Next, the main component of
generating electricity from hydro is turbine blade which is located inside the dam. To
generate the electricity, the river water is release from the dam and flow pass through the
turbine blade. The rotation of the turbine blade generates mechanical energy. Lastly the
electricity is produce through the alternator (Ngo, 2008). The construction of dam has bring
negative impact to environment such as water pollution.
Biomass is the fourth type of renewable energy. According to Ngo (2010), biomass is defined
as energy that stored in biological material which derived from living organisms. There are
many sources of biomass energy such as virgin wood, agricultural residues, food waste and
industrial waste. Biomass material can be burned directly or converted into fuels (Franchi,
2005). The steam that produced by the burning of the biomass material can be used to
generate electricity. Ethanol fuel is an example of biomass fuel which added together with
gasoline for the use in internal combustion engines (Franch, 2010). Ngo (2010) explains that
although the burning of biomass material will produce carbon dioxide which contributes to
the growth of greenhouse effect, however, the final balance of biomass is considered as
positive one compared to burning of fossil fuel. Another advantage of biomass energy is its
availability due to the energy is stored in the material until it is needed compared to other
renewable energy such as wind energy that need to depend to environmental condition
(Franch, 2010).
Another type of renewable energy is geothermal energy. Geothermal energy is the heat comes
from the Earth. It is a source of electrical power. The temperature increases as go deeper to
the Earths crush (Ngo, 2010). The heat is caused by radioactive disintegration of atomic
nuclei, mainly from uranium-235, uranium-238, and thorium and potassium isotope



Although (Ngo, 2010). The material of the Earths crush undergoes the process of cooling
down from an initial high temperature, its accumulation is sufficient to generate heat that can
be collected and stored in the underground aquifers (Ngo, 2010). Geothermal energy has a
low impact on the environment because geothermal power plants have very low gaseous

emissions. It only emits little carbon dioxide when compared with other power generation
technologies that emit carbon dioxide during operation (DiPippo, 2012). The waste water
from the geothermal exploitation that contains salts and heavy metals cannot be expelled at
the surface. Therefore, it is reinjected underground to avoid contamination of surface and
ground water aquifers. (DiPippo, 2012).
The first type of non-renewable energy is fossil fuel. There are three main types of fossil
fuels which are coal, oil, and natural gas. Coal is formed from geological processes that
involve the burying of flora and fauna under anaerobic condition in swamps (Aubrecht, 2006).
Oil forms from dispersed organic material, such as organic sediment on a continental shelf
which is buried by geological processes and, it is subjected to a high heat and pressure at the
deep underground (Aubrecht, 2006). Natural gas is known as methane. It is formed in
association with coal and oil by the similar processes (Aubrecht, 2006). There is a difference
between natural gas with coal and oil. Coal remains at the same place and the oil migration is
heated by caps impermeable to liquid (Aubrecht, 2006). In certain cases, these caps are
permeable to gas and migrate through pores in the rock containing coal or oil. The gas is
either gather in large volume above the oil or migrate through a very long distance that
causing it no longer associated with the oil or coal deposit that produce it (Aubrecht, 2006).
Fossil fuels are a popular energy sources because have been found in tremendous quantities
and relatively cheaper than some other energy sources (Gimpel, 2010).
Nuclear energy is under non-renewable energy category. It is provided by nuclear fission
whereby a large and unstable nucleus splits into two smaller fragments that will release a lot
of energy (Franch, 2010). Nuclear power station is build based on nuclear fission concept to
generate electricity. The main component used in nuclear power station is a rare type of
uranium, U-235 which is a non-renewable resource. Nuclear energy does not contribute to
greenhouse effect but will produce radioactive wastes. Those wastes lead to health problems
among people who exposed to it such as cancers. Ngo (2001) defined that radioactive waste
is made up of matter which cannot be used further and whose level of radioactivity does not
allow it to be directly disposed of in the environment (p.71). Hence, nuclear energy is nonrenewable energy which will cause unsafe and unrealisable environment to living organism.

Appendix 1









Figure 1. Sources of energy

Fossil Fuels


Aubrecht, G. J. (2006). Energy physical, environmental, and social impact (3rd ed.). San
Francisco, CA: Pearson Addison Wesley.
Brown, C. E. (2002). World energy resources. Retrieved from
Danigelis, A. (2013). Top 10 Countries on wind power. Retrieved from
DiPippo, R. (2012) Geothermal power plants: principles, applications, case studies and
environmental impact (3rd ed.). Oxford, UK: Butterworth-Heinemann
Fanchi, J. R. (2005). Energy in the 21st century. : Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific
Publishing Company.
Gimpel, D. M. (2010). Energy. Farmington Hills, MI: Lucent Books
Ngo, C. (2010). Energy, resources, technologies and the environment. London, UK: The
Institution Of Engineering And Technology.
Sorensen, B. (2010). Renewable energy physics, engineering, environmental, impacts,
economics & planning (4th ed.). San Diego,CA: Academic Press