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Custom Caltech Presentation Essay

The presentation under analysis was given by Dr. Nate Lewis on the question of using the renewable sources of energy and especially solar energy as one and the only source that is enough to cover the global needs of the whole planet. He mentions the necessity of finding and establishing the best way and states the importance of doing it very quickly, because, even in spite of the availability of alternative sources of energy, most of the world is still dependent on traditional energy sources, among which the most popular are coal, oil and gas■

Overreliance on these traditional resources will lead to the fact that without them the world will face the threat of disaster at the end of the 21st century. Thus, the constant effort must be made to move to renewable energy sources, which will help many countries to reduce the consumption of oil and gas. Compared to traditional natural sources of energy, solar energy is inexhaustible and more environmentally friendly. When using solar energy in solar installations in the surface layers of the atmosphere, the added heat does not generate greenhouse effect and, therefore, does not pollute the air.

The disadvantages of solar energy lay in its dependence on the time of the day, atmospheric conditions and seasons. Most solar energy is used in two ways: by photochemical reactions or in the form of thermal energy by applying various thermo systems. Most of the world’s solar energy is widely used for heating and getting of the hot water. System and installation of solar heating can be divided into active and passive.

Collectors are devices that convert solar energy directly into heat; these are active solar energy systems. Most solar collectors are used in low temperature processes: drying of agricultural products, for pasteurization of products in the food industry. For the performance of mechanical work of solar collectors there is a need to obtain a high temperature that is used to reflect the energy. Solar collectors made of mirrors or lenses to concentrate the heat and light of the sun and keep track of its movements.

Direct elements of building constructions with usage of little or any options, which absorb and accumulate solar energy, are the passive systems solar energy source. The most effective method of direct conversion of solar energy into electrical energy is the use of solar cells. This is a light-sensitive plate, made of silicon, selenium, and gallium arsenide which represent the solar panels. Their work is based on the absorption of the semiconductor particles of light, photons, and transformation of them into electricity photovoltaics.

One of the problems of development of solar energy and its widespread use is its cost-effectiveness, expressed in a high cost compared to traditional sources. But the usage of solar collectors for locations is far from centralized energy sources and is more economical. In the long term this alternative energy source can be used to control large areas of environmental conditions, as it is environmentally friendly and durable.

One of the questions Dr. Lewis touched was the difference between the total energy and energy from electricity. The total energy includes all kinds of energy that come from other energy sources like oil, gas, water, wind and others, while energy from electricity is amount of watts that are ready to be used by enterprises and general consumption. However, at the same time every kind of any other energy resource can be transformed in calculations to the electricity energy. Primary energy is the raw materials in their natural form prior to any processing technology, such as coal, oil, natural gas and uranium ore. This material is called “primary energy”. Solar radiation, wind, water – all of this is also the primary energy (Aluya & Garraway, 47). Secondary energy is the product of processing, “gentrification” of primary energy, such as electricity, gasoline and fuel oil. The energy that goes directly to the consumer is called finite energy or secondary energy. Most frequently, the secondary energy is represented by electricity or fuel oil, but sometimes it is secondary and primary energy at the same time, for example wood, solar radiation, or natural gas.

Unfortunately, the final energy use is completely impossible, and the consumer takes only part of it that is called the useful energy. Examples of useful energy can be a light bulb, the drive energy on the machine shaft, or heat generated by an electric heater.

The reliance on fossil fuels is at a very high level nowadays and it is growing every year. The problem is that this kind of energy resource is terminated and sooner or later with the constant growth of the population of the US there will be time when there will be no extra fossil fuels left to be used. The fact is that the potential of energy supply of each alternative energy source is limited by certain figures. The total amount of energy that is globally required is 13,2 TW and every alternative source is potentially not reaching that point (Lewis, 2009). For example, if to speak about the ocean, than all the waves, currents and power is not enough to have the needed energy. Speaking about wind, it is necessary to mention that it can save a maximum of 10% of the total energy needed and it is already in use. The problem about biomass is that the final difference between the carbons left after using all the crops on the planet theoretically is twice large than the amount of energy that is possible to be taken off the biomass. The highest possible hydroelectric point is 0.6 TW and there is no way to grow and to develop it further. The total potential of the whole Earth is 11.6 TW, and this sphere needs a lot of work to be performed and a lot of drilling as well as investigating of this alternative source, that is challenging and questionable■

Solar energy is the most close to the needed point because one hour of solar energy gives the amount of the whole year needed volumes of energy for the global consumption and it makes 600TW solar energy potential in general.

The financial part of all the equipment required to build in order to have all the potential energy supply ready to be used. At the same time, it is necessary to build a huge saving and generation station every day somewhere on the Earth. There are several problems with finding the best possible way to preserve and to save solar energy as well as to produce fuel from it. Not all the people think about saving the energy, changing their lifestyle and starting to use solar batteries in their everyday life.

The process of applying this kind of alternative energy is quite expensive and the amount of materials produced is not enough for that. There have been a lot of researches done in order to find the most effective way to save energy generated from the Sun and there were found the best ways to rework it to the fuel which is necessary for providing the needed supply of fuel. Another way is that there were made the generators that let to provide the electricity directly to the consumption area.

Custom Caltech Presentation Essay

Code: Sample20

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