IntroductionRenewable energy quickly replaces itself and is usually available in a never-ending supply. Renewable energy comes from the natural flow of sunlight, wind, or water around the Earth. With the help of special collectors, we can capture some of this energy and put it to use in our homes and businesses. As long as sunlight, water and wind continue to flow and trees and other plants continue to grow, we have access to a ready of supply of energy.
Solar energyFor billions of years, the sun has poured out huge amounts of energy in several forms, including light, heat, radio waves, and even x-rays. Direct sunlight is available from sunrise until sunset, except during solar eclipses. Solar collectors and modules are designed to capture some of the sun’s energy and change it from radiation into more usable forms such as heat or electricity.
Wind energyWind energy is really just another form of solar energy. Sunlight falling on oceans and continents causes air to warm and rise, which in turn generates surface winds. The wind has been used by humans for thousands of years, fi rst to carry ships across oceans and, later, to pump water and grind grain. More recently, wind has been harnessed as a clean, safe source of electricity.
Hydro Electric energyHydroelectric energy is a renewable energy source dependent upon the hydrologic cycle of water, which involves evaporation, precipitation and the flow of water due to gravity. It is the flow of water and the height of the drop of the water that determines the size of a hydroelectric facility
Hydrogen and fuel cellsHydrogen is the most plentiful element on Earth and is found in combination with oxygen in water, and in organic matter including living plants, petroleum, coal, natural gas and other hydrocarbon compounds. The great attraction of hydrogen is that, once isolated, it is a clean burning fuel that produces neither carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) nor toxic emissions and can be used for electricity production, transportation, and other energy needs.
Training System DescriptionThe Progressive Educational System’s Renewable Energy training systems uses real world technology to demonstrate how wind turbines, solar cells, hydro-electric stations and hydrogen fuel cells are beginning to transform the way the world is powered. They explore popular alternate energy sources that can be used to help reduce dependence on exhaustible, non-renewable fuel sources. They gain a global perspective when they understand the economics, efficiency, and low environmental impact of producing energy from non-polluting, renewable sources.