M. A.

S Aravinda Principles of Electric Power Generation PH4102 2008/S/1092 S9673

Appraisal of the challenges at the frontiers of electric power generation
Over the coming decades, the power generation industry faces a daunting challenge in meeting global energy needs. By 2030, electricity use will double globally and triple in developing countries. In order to cater the limitations of supply of electric power to the world dwellers is becoming a challenging task, due to the lack of reusability of the modern power generation mechanisms. As the population increases in the world the need for the electric power is becoming more and more vital. Hence it is a great dead to study and foresee the challenges that will the human race have to face in the upcoming future. Electric power generation had been a fascinating task since it can be done with different sources. Those sources can be stated as follow. Major Sources y Coal y Oil y Nuclear y Hydro (Water) Medium Sources y Solar y Wind Small Scale Sources y Geo- Thermal y Tidal y Denro All these sources of energy used to generate electricity are given by the Mother Nature. Hence nature is the major source of energy, which has to be used wisely and respectfully.  Conventional Methods of power generation and their limitations The contemporary non-conventional sources of energy like wind, tidal, solar etc. were the conventional sources until James Watt invented the steam engine in the eighteenth century. In fact, the New World was explored by man using wind-powered ships only. The nonconventional sources are available free of cost, are pollution-free and inexhaustible. Man has used these sources for many centuries in propelling ships, driving windmills for grinding corn and pumping water, etc. Because of the poor technologies then existing, the cost of harnessing energy from these sources was quite high. Also because of uncertainty of period of availability and the difficulty of transporting this form of energy, to the place of its use are some of the factors which came in the way of its adoption or development. The use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy replaced totally the non-conventional methods because of inherent advantages of transportation and certainty of availability; however these have polluted the atmosphere to a great 1|P ag e

Coal contains substances such as sulfur. Not sustainable Produces carbon dioxide (CO2).7 million liters of fresh water for each Giga Watt-hour of electricity generated. selenium. but some recent research has indicated that this was optimistic. arsenic.For maximum efficiency coal fired power stations must be big. Burned sulfur is one of the main causes of acid rain. A. It has been believed that the world's coal reserves would last a century or more. Mode Coal Advantages Low cost Apparently plentiful: we will probably not run out of easily mined coal in the next few decades. mercury and the radioactive elements uranium. They therefore present a desirable target for enemy attack. radium and radon. The world's oil reserves are limited.M. Produces more carbon dioxide (CO2) per Watt-hour of energy than any other generation method. War time . When the coal is mined and burned these substances can be released into the environment. In fact. Oil Low cost Generators are very compact. but most modern coal-fired power stations remove most of the sulfur oxides from the released gasses. thorium. Produces less CO2 than coal and requires much less water than coal 2|P ag e . Oil spills. Requires a substantial amount of cooling water.S Aravinda Principles of Electric Power Generation PH4102 2008/S/1092 S9673 extent. Comparatively let us consider pros and cons of the major conventional modes of electric power generation that in practice in today s world. Very large quantities of ash have to be disposed of and a lot of smoke is produced. it is feared that nuclear energy may prove to be quite hazardous in case it is not properly controlled. which is an important greenhouse gas. although responsible coal miners do a remarkably good job of restoring the land after the coal has been mined out. The methods of mining coal can be very destructive. although in modern power stations most of the latter is separated from the waste gas stream and disposed of with the ash. cause severe pollution. especially at sea. Disadvantages Not sustainable Requires around 1.

a large amount of electrical power can be produced by a moderately sized station. Normally does not produce any significant atmospheric pollutants. A tempting target for terrorist attack. (It must be kept away from the biosphere for several tens of thousands of years). with consequent release of greenhouse gasses. The lead time in building a nuclear power station is around ten to 15 years.S Aravinda Principles of Electric Power Generation PH4102 2008/S/1092 S9673 Some oils contain high levels of sulfur. See the note on sulfur under coal. It is expensive. Quantity of waste produced is small. river valleys are often fertile and densely populated. This can be enormously expensive. and due to the long lead time in planning and construction. a large amount of electrical power can be produced by a moderately sized station. War time . it often requires great changes in many peoples' life styles. The building of dams is usually environmentally destructive river valleys are important ecosystems. Nuclear Compact. Sustainable 3|P ag e . A. The equipment needed to produce the fuel for power reactors is the same as is used to produce fissile material for bombs. Hydro Compact. Safe long-term disposal of nuclear waste is difficult.Nuclear power stations would produce a huge amount of radioactive contamination if bombed. maintenance costs.M. While there are few accidents the consequences of some accidents may be very serious. The world's supply of oil is limited. above. either from the reactors or from the waste. Decommissioning a nuclear power station at the end of its useful life is very difficult and expensive. especially in capital costs. There is a danger of radiation release. the Fukushima nuclear disaster has been estimated to cost US$257 billion. Requires substantial amounts of cooling water. Large amounts of fossil fuels are used in mining and processing the uranium fuel. Low fuel costs.

electricity is fundamental for many essential services. energy needs are. In many rural areas. agro-processing and conservation. The water released from a hydro-power station often comes from the bottom of a dam. If so. more fulfilling. and purification. Major uses for electrical power are: y Agricultural: Electrical energy is important for the enhancement of rural production and food security through land preparation. and the importance of balancing all aspects of one's life in order to be one's best self. we explore some unique approaches to a healthy lifestyle. and resources for restoring balance to each area of your life. It is well accepted that drinking unclean water is one of the biggest killers in the developing world. and a lot more enjoyable." At New Holistic Living. and medical care. you will find your life as a while becomes much simpler.M. distribution. along with tools.  The role of electric power and its inputs in meeting these aspirations Everywhere in the world. education. Water Purification and Distribution: Energy is required for water collection. Around 10% of children fewer than five years of age die each year y 4|P ag e . tips. reliable electric power is the key to economic development.S Aravinda Principles of Electric Power Generation PH4102 2008/S/1092 S9673 Once established it is fairly environmentally benign. fertilization. This inequitable scenario severely limits many rural people from enhancing their agricultural productivity and quality of life. at present. let us offer a basic definition: Holistic Living: "To live in a manner which honors the whole self. Fermenting vegetation in hydro dams releases the greenhouse gas methane to the atmosphere.  Human Aspirations of holistic living To start with. it is cold and may not suit species native to the region. Once you have achieved this. The natural occasional high-flows or a flood that the river s ecosystem has adapted to is disrupted. including those that increase income and benefit rural areas. predominantly supplied in the form of traditional biomass fuels and human and animal labor. recognizing the mind-body-spirit connection. Water is often released from a hydro-power dam at times that depend on power consumption (or possibly to suit down-stream irrigators). So the electric power plays a major role in the aspirations of modern man since each and every need of their daily life strictly dependent on any means of electric power. irrigation. In developing countries. From birth to death of a certain person the electric power can be considered as a major mode of doing daily chores. A.

the manufacturing process requires large amounts of energy. community access to educational audio and video media. and radio. typhoid and cholera. Well suited to providing power in home One less common. Applications of electrical energy in this field include both mechanical pumping and filtering of the water supply and its ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. Many households without access to electricity routinely use dry cell and lead-acid car batteries for modest power needs. electricity is needed in order to make use of modern learning technologies. lighting to facilitate adult education and literacy classes in the evenings. In some areas.S Aravinda Principles of Electric Power Generation PH4102 2008/S/1092 S9673 from water-borne diseases such as diarrhea. type of solar panel. The average household needs on the order of 0.M.1 to 1 kW. bilharzia. expensive. The desire for communications is so great that people will walk for miles to find a charging station for their phone batteries. y Health care: Modern energy services are the key to improving the health of people in rural areas of many developing countries. handheld. In health clinics. but highly efficient or single building applications. Electricity in housing accommodations makes it more likely that doctors. Education: In rural schools. 5|P ag e . as well as helping to retain teachers. Uses will include small factories and commercial enterprises with power needs up to at least 100 kW. not just adaptable to individual farms or households. Charging these portable communications devices requires electrical energy. Commercial and Industry Application: Reliable electricity should be scalable to communities. contains toxins that need to be disposed of carefully at the end of Roof-top installations are well suited to the life of the panel. television. gallium arsenide. A. Disadvantages While the panels are environmentally benign once they are built. y y y y  Investigation and analysis of further methods of electric power generation and their prospects Mode Solar photovoltaic (Solar electrical panels) Advantages Sustainable It is a well proven technology. nurses and other skilled staff will be retained. These include computers. Bidirectional Communications: The wireless phone is the predominant personal and business two-way communications tool in developing countries. access to electricity provides for wellequipped maternity facilities and medical equipment and safe storage for vaccines. Residential and Community Quality-of-Life: Rural households and communities use electrical power for lighting. two-way radios (walkie-talkies) are also used.

atmosphere (CO2 released by burning one crop is taken out by growing the Because of the above point. Peak generation matches peak consumption fairly well. If a on the cost of building new photovoltaic generator is to produce much transmission lines. Non-polluting.S Aravinda Principles of Electric Power Generation PH4102 2008/S/1092 S9673 high-consumption urban areas where it has the additional advantage of saving Solar energy is spread relatively thinly. A large area of land is required for the production of the fuel (eg.06 to $0. wood lot or cane field) per MW of No net addition of carbon to the power generated.70/kWh. electricity (ie. 6|P ag e . little environmental impact since the steam would be released to the atmosphere with or without the power generation.08/kWh. A. Uses a renewable fuel. Does not produce much power when the sun isn't shining. Burns organic matter that might be better returned to the land for soil improvement Biomass (including firewood)Denro Geothermal Sustainable It can only be developed in selected volcanic areas. several Mega Watts) it has to cover a large area.47 to US$0. so it can never be a major contributor to the world Relatively low cost for renewable energy supply energy. US$0. this method can never generate enough power to satisfy a major part of next). Electricity generated by solar panels is q quite expensive. US$0. current demands.M.

Non-polluting M. large turbines Sustainable. to US$80/MWh at the wind farm.Biogas Uses a renewable fuel. This creates visual and noise annoyance and a significant public opposition has developed.The scattered layout of turbines in wind farms would make it difficult for enemies to destroy more than a few at any one time. non-polluting Does not produce power when the wind isn't blowing. Reduces the exposure of an economy to fuel price volatility. Very resistant to damage earthquakes and tsunamis. no cooling water. eg. There is little or no control on the rate of gas Waste is disposed of at the same time production. To generate large amounts of electricity wind Wind farms can be built by moderately turbines must be numerous and spread over large sized local or regional businesses. Installation would damage the sea-bed locally and some types completely under water. areas. so they would be difficult to destroy Wind. A pig farm. although the gas can. Requires little water.Spread over a large area. Wave (Tidal) Sustainable. from War time . and in the same operation. Consumes methane that might otherwise leak into the atmosphere and increase the greenhouse effect. non-polluting Not proven on a commercial scale War time . be stored and used as required. Biogas can also be used on a small scale.electricity is wind power then there will be a need priced for a sustainable energy: US$60 for a correspondingly large backup power supply. 7|P ag e . to some extent. If a large proportion of a power system's A well proven technology and low. A.S Aravinda Principles of Electric Power Generation PH4102 2008/S/1092 S9673 Very limited in the quantity of electricity it can produce on the global scale.

A.S Aravinda Principles of Electric Power Generation PH4102 2008/S/1092 S9673 8|P ag e .M.

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