Kinds of Alternative Energy

According to Wikipedia, alternative energy is the term for all energy sources that can be used and has the aim of replacing conventional fuels without any unwanted consequences from these things. In general, the term alternative energy is used to reduce the use of hydrocarbon fuels which can cause environmental damage due to high carbon dioxide emissions, which also contribute greatly to global warming based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Over the past few years, what is actually meant as alternative energy has undergone changes due to the many energy choices that can be chosen and have different purposes in their use.

While the term “alternative” is a technology that can be used as a fossil fuel to produce energy. The alternative technology that is used as an energy producer by solving problems and not producing new ones, is the case with the use of fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, the Oxford Dictionary defines alternative energy as energy used which aims to stop the use of natural resources or the destruction of the existing environment. So the definition of alternative energy is more concise like this, alternative energy is an energy source that can replace fuel oil or fuel. Fuel itself is the energy that is used the most so far, because it is always needed and continues to be explored, the supply is getting smaller.

So with the existence of alternative energy can replace human dependence on fuel oil and can save the use of oil itself so that supplies do not run out. In addition, alternative energy sources are non-renewable energy sources.

Kinds of Alternative Energy

Alternative energy has several kinds, which of the existence of alternative energy can reduce the use of energy used in the past and anticipate the depletion of these energy sources. The following are various alternative energy sources:

1. Solar Energy

The sun is a very large amount of energy source and an endless source of energy. The energy produced by the sun is in the form of light that is emitted continuously and contains electromagnetic energy which is of course beneficial for human life on earth.

We can use this solar energy source as a substitute for fossil energy. Usually scientists use solar energy as a source of energy by using solar panels as a source of electric power. This energy emits a very small amount of emissions compared to fossil energy.

The concept of solar energy is the concept of helioculture, which is the process of harvesting solar energy into fuel by moving carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by utilizing agricultural land.

a. How alternative energy works

The basic ingredient in capturing sunlight and converting it into energy using semiconductor materials. In general, the material used is also a silicone material and has a black color.

Here’s how alternative solar energy works, namely:

  • The basic material is silicon which is made into plates and mounted on poles that are used to be directed directly at the sun. This silicon is a material that has the property of being able to reflect the sun.
  • For the workings of the silicon plate by concentrating sunlight on one line or point. The concentration of sunlight will produce heat.
  • The heat generated can be used to produce hot steam. The heat from the steam pressure is used to run a turbine which in turn generates electricity.

Alternative energy from sunlight for everyday life can be used for drying clothes, drying food, and much more. However, alternative energy from sunlight can also be stored and used when the sun is not around.

Utilization of sunlight underlies solar panels or solar panels that use the photovoltaic principle which is the principle of converting incoming light energy and hitting the surface of solar cells and will be converted into electrical energy.

2. Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy or so-called geothermal energy is a source of energy that comes from the earth’s core. Geothermal energy is Greek, where the word “geo” is earth and the word “thermal” is heat. So the word geothermal is geothermal.

Geothermal energy is generated and stored in the earth’s core. When compared to fossil fuels, geothermal energy is a clean source and releases only a small amount of greenhouse gases.

Geothermal energy or geothermal energy is a source of energy that comes from the earth’s core. The earth’s core is a material consisting of various types of metal and rock in liquid form, which has a high temperature.

This energy is widely used, especially in mountainous areas. Utilization of geothermal energy is that it can be used to produce electricity as a form of renewable energy. Utilization of geothermal energy is done by looking at the resource of the heat.

So if an area has geothermal energy that emits water vapor or steam , then the steam is directed to a power plant turbine to produce electricity. After that the steam is directed to the condenser so that the steam condenses into water.

This water will then be recycled to become steam again naturally. However, if geothermal is used to produce hot water or hot water, then the hot water must first be converted into water vapor or steam. This change process requires equipment called a heat exchanger in which hot water is channeled to the heat exchanger to form water vapor.

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3. Wind Energy

Wind power or wind energy is the collection of useful energy from the wind. This energy source is produced from gusts of wind which are processed and collected into a large amount of energy. The use of wind energy is usually generated by using a windmill.

The following are the benefits of a windmill, namely:

  1. Become a power source
  2. Become an alternative source of fossil substitutes
  3. As an environmentally friendly energy and helps reduce carbs
  4. Be a wind digger
  5. Helping the process of drying crops
  6. Wood cutting alternative
  7. Helping with irrigation

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4. Water Energy

Water energy or also called hydropower is a source of energy that can be generated through the power of water. To produce energy it is usually done by making a dam that is used by a dam, then combined with a water pipe that is directed to the turbine. The more water flows in the turbine, the greater the energy produced. This type of energy is very dependent on the existing water supply.

The concentration of water energy is dependent on the floating wind energy capture area and is the same as the usual wind energy capture area, but floats in the middle of the ocean. Offshore wind energy capture areas can be placed in waters with a depth of up to 40 meters.

The advantage of a floating wind energy capture area is its ability to capture wind energy in the middle of the ocean without obstacles from hills, trees and buildings. Winds in the middle of the ocean can reach speeds twice the speed of winds on land.

5. Ocean Energy

The sea has great potential. The simple principle of exploiting this form of ocean energy is to use kinetic energy to turn a turbine which in turn drives a generator to produce electricity.

Energy originating from the sea or Ocean Energy can be categorized into three types, namely:

  1. Tidal Energy or Tidal Energy. Tidal energy is energy generated from the movement of sea water due to differences in tides.
  2. Ocean Wave Energy or Wave Energy. Ocean wave energy is energy generated from the movement of ocean waves towards land and vice versa.
  3. Ocean Thermal Energy or Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion. Ocean thermal energy takes advantage of differences in seawater temperature at the surface and also at depth. Although the utilization of this type of energy in Indonesia still requires a variety of in-depth studies, it can be seen simply that the probability of finding and exploiting the potential of ocean wave energy and ocean thermal energy is greater than tidal energy.

6. Biogas Energy

Biogas is a gas mixture of methane or CH4, carbon dioxide or CO2, and other gases obtained from the decomposition of organic materials such as animal waste, human waste and plants by methanogenic decomposing bacteria in a biodigester.

The concept of digested biogas relates to the use of methane gas released when animals decompose. This gas is obtained from garbage and sewage systems. Biogas generation systems are used to produce to process methane gas via bacteria or decomposers which break down the biomass in an anaerobic environment or conditions. Methane gas collected and purified can be utilized as an alternative energy source.

The use of biogas energy has the advantage of being more environmentally friendly than oil and natural gas. The existence of biogas is also useful which can help various human activities and has a good impact on the environment. Following are the good impacts produced by biogas energy:

  1. Environmentally friendly biogas. This is because biogas is a more environmentally friendly energy source. And biogas is the newest and clean energy source. The gas generated through the biodigester does not cause pollution and is useful in reducing greenhouse emissions.
  2. Helps reduce soil and water pollution.
  3. Producing organic fertilizer.
  4. Simple technology at low cost. The technology used to produce biogas is also quite cheap and the ingredients are easy to obtain. Even a small biodigester can also be produced directly at home by utilizing kitchen waste and animal manure.
  5. Healthy cooking alternative

However, biogas energy also has drawbacks in its use, these drawbacks are inadequate technological facilities, such as:

  1. The system used in producing biogas is not efficient. There is no new technology to simplify the process and manufacture abundant production, of course, at a low cost. So that production on a large scale is not yet possible.
  2. After being refined and compressed, biogas still contains impurities. Like the bio-fuels used to drive cars, they have adverse effects such as corrosion on the metal parts of the engine. This corrosion of course will cause an increase in maintenance costs. So gas mixtures are much more suitable for kitchen stoves, water boilers and lamps.
  3. Biogas production and generation are affected by the weather. The optimal temperature for digesting waste is around 37°C. In cold climates, the digester requires heat energy to maintain a constant supply of biogas.
  4. Industrial biogas installations can only be carried out if the raw materials are abundant, such as food scraps and manure. With that biogas generator is much more suitable for our rural and suburban areas with abundant availability of raw materials.

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7. Biomass Energy

Biomass is all the bodies of living things that are used to produce energy when burned, namely in the form of organic waste as the remains of agricultural production. Biomass that can be used as fuel is not always in the form of waste, some are in the form of fast growing plants such as gosana, acacia and so on which can be used as fuel economically or as a cheap energy source.

Renewable energy sources such as biomass are sometimes referred to as an alternative to fossil fuels which are harmful to the ecology, because if biomass is commercialized it is feared that it will harm forests which are the largest producer of biomass, namely wood which is also biomass. Renewable energy is not necessarily alternative energy with that goal.

Utilization of biomass energy sources, namely:

a. Renewable energy sources

Biomass is one of the raw materials in bioenergy production. The source of the biomass used comes from municipal waste. Primary energy-producing biomass in liquid form as biofuel.

In gaseous form, biomass is used as biogas, while in solid form it is used as biobriquettes. These three primary energies can be used as fuel for transportation or industrial facilities.

In addition, this primary energy can be converted into secondary energy, namely bio-fuel electricity. The use of biomass in producing bioenergy products does not require a special process and can be directly used as primary energy.

b. Bioproducts

Biomass can also be used as a substitute for motor vehicle fuel oil by producing bioethanol. Biomass can also produce heat and electricity by producing biogas, synthesis gas and biopellets

The application of biological refinery technology to biomass produces bioethanol at low production costs. This method can also produce energy as well as by-products. The raw material used in the conversion of biomass into bioethanol comes from agricultural waste or plantation waste containing starch or lignocellulosic.

The raw material is also converted into ethanol through the initial stages of hydrolysis and fermentation. The hydrolysis process utilizes cellulase enzymes with enzymes or thermochemicals. Meanwhile, the fermentation process uses yeast.

Starch is used to produce ethanol while lignin and hemicellulose are used to produce by-products in the form of zylitot, adhesives, lignosulfonates and biosurfactants.

c. Gasification technology

The technology in which biomass is utilized during the gas formation process is carried out through a chemical reaction at high temperatures between the biomass and the gasification agent.

The ingredients of the gasification agent are air, oxygen, or water vapor. The process of forming fuel gas in biomass also utilizes the pyrolysis process. Biomass is used as gasification feed because it has main components in the form of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

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8. Biodiesel Energy

Biodiesel is a liquid material specially formulated for diesel engines or motors in the form of fatty acid methyl ester/FAME which is made from vegetable oil or animal fat ( bio-oil) through esterification and transesterification processes.

Biodiesel is used as an alternative energy substitute for fuel oil for diesel or diesel types. Biodiesel can be applied in 100% form (B100) or mixed with diesel oil at a certain concentration level such as B20.

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9. Energy of Radioactive Substances

Radioactive substances can emit α (alpha) rays which are positively charged, β (beta) rays which are negatively charged, and γ (gamma) rays which are not electrically charged.