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TitleFueling Our Future an Introduction to Sustainable Energy
Tags Energy Development Nuclear Power Kilowatt Hour Exhaust Gas
File Size2.4 MB
Total Pages194
Table of Contents
Part I Setting the scene
	1 Introduction
	2 The energy conversion chain
	3 Energy and the environment
		3.1 Localized environmental concerns
		3.2 Global environmental concerns
		3.3 Adaptation and mitigation
Part II The global energy demand and supply balance
	4 World energy demand
	5 World energy supply
		5.1 World energy sources
		5.2 Fossil fuel resources
		5.3 The global demand–supply balance
Part III New and sustainable energy sources
	6 Non-conventional fossil fuels
		6.1 New sources of oil and gas
		6.2 Clean coal processes
		6.3 Carbon mitigation
	7 Renewable energy sources
		7.1 Introduction
		7.2 Solar Energy
			7.2.1 Solar thermal energy systems
			7.2.2 Photovoltaic solar electricity generation
		7.3 Wind energy
		7.4 Biomass energy
		7.5 Hydroelectric power
		7.6 Ocean energy
		7.7 Geothermal energy
	8 Nuclear power
		8.1 Introduction
		8.2 Light-water reactors
		8.3 Heavy-water reactors
		8.4 Other reactor types
		8.5 Advanced reactor designs
		8.6 Nuclear power and sustainability
		8.7 Nuclear power economics and public acceptance
Part IV Towards a sustainable energy balance
	9 The transportation challenge
		9.1 Transportation energy use
		9.2 Road vehicles
		9.3 Trains, planes, and ships
	10 Achieving a sustainable energy balance
Appendix: Energy conversion factors
Document Text Contents
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Similarly, wind energy also has a low energy density, although of

course there are some very windy areas which have much higher wind

energy potential than others. Again using the example of the continen-

tal USA, the average annual wind power ranges from a low of less than

200 W/m2 in the south-eastern region of the country, to greater than

800 W/m2 in the Rocky Mountain region. Since wind strength close to

the earth’s surface increases significantly with height above the

ground due to the nature of the planetary boundary layer, these data

are standardized at a height of 50 m, and correspond on the low end to

an average wind speed of less than 5.6 m/s and range up to a high of

over 8.8 m/s on the high end. Wind energy is less evenly distributed

than is solar energy, and in the USA the concentrations of high wind

energy potential may be quite remote from the major load centers on

both coasts and in the mid-west region around the Great Lakes. In

subsequent sections of this chapter we will examine in more detail

the potential for both solar and wind energy, as well as other less well-

developed technologies designed to extract energy indirectly from

the sun.

7.2 S O L A R E N E R G Y

7.2.1 Solar thermal energy systems

One way of utilizing solar energy is to use it directly as a source of

thermal energy, either to provide space heating for residential and

commercial buildings, or to generate electricity using a conventional

Rankine steam cycle. As we have seen, a great deal of energy is used to

provide basic comfort in buildings, and in the populous mid-latitude

countries this is primarily used for heating during the winter months.

The use of both ‘‘active’’ and ‘‘passive’’ solar thermal energy systems for

these applications could provide a significant reduction in the need for

non-renewable primary energy sources. Passive solar heating simply

refers to architectural design techniques which enable the building

structure to absorb as much solar energy as possible during daylight

hours in the winter months, and then using this ‘‘stored’’ energy to

replace heat that would normally be provided by a fossil fuel-fired

furnace, or by electric heating. Design concepts can be as simple as

ensuring that windows are minimized on north-facing building walls,

and enlarged on south-facing walls so that as much sunlight as possible

will enter the building and heat up structural elements such as internal

walls and floors. More complex design ideas have also been utilized to

Renewable energy sources 83

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increase this passive heating, including the use of ‘‘Trombe walls,’’ for

example. These are heavy, usually black-painted concrete walls placed

just behind south-facing glass that are used specifically to absorb as

much heat as possible from the sun’s rays, so that this thermal energy

can be released over periods of several hours. The glass just in front of

the wall acts as a greenhouse to trap as much solar energy as possible,

and then air is allowed to circulate through the gap between the glass

and the concrete. The circulating air then absorbs heat which has been

stored in the wall and transfers this to other parts of the room, or even

to other parts of the house. The massive wall structure is able to absorb

sufficient energy so that heat can be transferred to the circulating air

for several hours after the sun has gone down. Some installations have

even included blinds just inside the glass which are automatically

closed on cold nights in order to reduce the energy which would

otherwise be lost by being re-radiated back out through the window.

Active solar heating uses ‘‘solar collectors,’’ usually mounted on

rooftops for residential buildings, to heat water, or another fluid which

is then circulated to other parts of the building. These active solar

collectors can also be used as a source of domestic hot water, or to

provide heat directly to a swimming pool. The outdoor swimming pool

application is particularly attractive, since these are usually used dur-

ing the warm summer months when the maximum amount of solar

radiation is available. The economics of solar water heating are

obviously affected by the cost of alternative energy sources used for

this purpose, principally electricity and natural gas, and by the build-

ing location. In the USA, for example, solar heating of swimming pools

is particularly attractive in sunny states like California and Florida in

which there are many outdoor swimming pools. In most installations,

whether they are used for domestic hot water or for swimming pools, a

conventional water-heating system using natural gas or electricity is

installed to provide back-up energy during cloudy periods or when cool

weather results in extra demand for hot water. In many cases, however,

more than half of the cost of traditional sources of energy can be saved

over the course of a year using solar energy, and in some cases much

more than this. The solar system costs are also reasonably modest, so

that financial ‘‘payback’’ times can be less than 10 years, making solar

energy an attractive investment.

Finally, the ‘‘concentrating solar collector’’ is an active solar

thermal energy installation usually used to generate electricity on a

fairly large scale. These systems use one or more reflecting mirrors to

concentrate a beam of solar energy onto a focal point in order to

84 Fueling Our Future

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mass transit 161
meltdown 131
metal hydrides 149
methane hydrate 65, 70
methanol 144, 162
Mexico 111
microhydro 104
Middelgrunden 97
moderator 116
Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) 127
municipal solid waste (MSW)

100, 102

Nafion 147
National Renewable Energy

Laboratory of the DOE 82, 157
natural forcing 27
natural gas 5, 12, 25, 46, 48, 53, 60
natural uranium 116, 120
nickel metal hydride batteries 161
nitrogen oxides (NOx) 13, 18, 19
non-energy uses 39
Nuclear and Renewable Energy

Scenario 171
nuclear fusion 127
nuclear power 115–138
nuclear proliferation 133
nuclear waste 133

ocean energy 105–110
oil 46
oil sands 5, 65, 65–68, 69
Olkiliuto 3 126
Organization of Petroleum Exporting

Countries 54
Oscillating Water Column (OWC) 108
ozone 19

partial oxidation 74, 79
particulate emissions 20
particulate trap 21
passive solar heating 83
pebble-bed reactor 127
PEM fuel cells 146
photovoltaic solar electricity 87–94
plug-in hybrid electric vehicles 8, 172
plutonium 123
polycrystalline silicon 88
post-combustion 78, 79
power capacity 97
pre-combustion 78, 79
pressure tube 121
Pressurized Fluidized Bed 72
Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) 118
primary sources of energy 4, 12
proton exchange membrane 147
proved recoverable reserves 51
pulverized fuel 71
pyrolysis 102

R/P ratio for coal 57
R/P ratio for natural gas 57
R/P ratio for oil 55
rail transportation 143
Rankine cycle 83, 85, 86
RBMK reactors 123
recoverable reserves 52
regenerative braking 155, 157
renewable energy 6, 12, 46, 81–113
road vehicles 143, 144–161
run-of-the-river 104

safety of nuclear powerplants 129
saline aquifers 77
Salter Nodding Duck 109
Sankey diagram 15, 17, 166
Seaflow 107
Selective Catalytic Reduction 20
ships 162
Sizewell ‘B’ 123
smog 19
Sodium Cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) 127
solar collectors 84
solar electricity generating

systems 87
solar energy 81
solar insolation 82
Solar One 85
solar power tower 85
solar thermal energy 83–87
Solar Tres 86
solar trough 86
Solar Two 85
sport utility vehicles 156
Springerville Generating Station 92
SRES (Special Report on Emissions

Scenarios) 28
Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage

(SAGD) 66
Stirling engine 85
supercritical pressures 71
Supercritical Water Cooled Reactor

(SCWR) 127
synthetic crude oil 66
synthetic fuels 144

The Geysers 111
Three Gorges 104
Three Mile Island 130
tidal barrage 105
tidal currents 106
tidal power 105
Tokamak 128
Toyota Prius 155
trams 161
transportation 7, 14, 141–163
trolley buses 161
Trombe walls 84

Index 179

Page 194

US Geological Survey (USGS) 69, 70
US Nuclear Regulatory

Commission 117
unavailable energy 15
unconventional gas 57
underground coal gasification 72, 73–74
United Nations Framework

Convention on Climate Change

United Nations Scientific Committee
on the Effects of Atomic
Radiation 132

Vapor Recovery Extraction (VAPEX) 66
Very High Temperature Reactor

(VHTR) 127
vitrified waste 134
VVER reactor 123

waste heat 16
water gas shift 79
wave energy 108
Wells turbine 109
well-to-wheels efficiency 15,

151, 158
Weyburn, Saskatchewan 76
wind energy 83, 94–100
wind farms 96
wind power 7, 81
wood-waste 101
World Energy Council 52, 59,

60, 69
world energy demand 171

Yucca Mountain 135

zero net CO2 101

180 Index

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