This article throws light upon the six important types of non-conventional energy. The types are: 1. Solar Energy 2. Bio-Energy 3. Wind Energy 4. Animal Energy 5. Ocean Energy 6. Hydrogen Energy.
Non-Conventional Energy: Type # 1. Solar Energy:
The sun provides us enormous amounts of energy in the form of solar radiation — energy that travels in small wave packets called photons, reaching the surface of the Earth from a distance of 150 million kms (93 million miles) in only 8 minutes. Solar energy can be used in production of heat, electricity, bio-energy etc.
There are some simple devices using solar energy like solar cooker, solar water heater, solar desalinator, solar air heaters, solar space conditioner, solar refrigerator, solar steam generators, direct conversion to electricity, photovoltaic technology, solar cells and modules.
Non-Conventional Energy: Type # 2. Bio-Energy:
Includes those processes where biological forms of matter such as plants, vegetables, bacteria, enzymes etc. provide the basis for energy or its conversion from one form to another. The widest use of bio-energy is the traditional way where wood plants and agricultural matters are burnt to provide heat. Bio-mass includes both terrestrial as well as aquatic matter and can be grouped into new plant growth, residues and wastes.
The use of bio-mass as source of energy has tremendous potential. About 40% of total energy consumed in India even today comes from sources like wood-wastes and animal wastes etc. Most dry forms of bio-mass can be burnt directly to produce heat, steam or electricity.
Non-Conventional Energy: Type # 3. Wind Energy:
Is the kinetic energy associated with movement of large masses of air resulting from differential heating of the atmosphere by the sun. Wind energy is renewable and poses no major environmental threats. Small windmills with direct mechanical drive matched to a pump and tank storage are in extensive use in many parts of the world.
Some new all-metal multi-bladed windmill designs have been developed; like the traditional multi-bladed windmills, they have a good starting torque, but lighter in weight, are simpler to fabricate and have slightly better efficiencies.
Non-Conventional Energy: Type # 4. Animal Energy:
Draught Animal Power (DAP) is one of the important renewable energy sources which has served mankind from times immemorial. Animals have served humankind for work, food, skin. In urban areas also draught animals play a significant role in transportation.
Non-Conventional Energy: Type # 5. Ocean Energy:
The sea — which is constantly receiving solar radiations and acts as the world’s largest natural solar collector — has potential to provide a means of utilizing renewable energy. It acts not only as a collector but also has an enormous storage capacity. Energy from ocean is available in several forms such as — ocean thermal energy, wave, tidal, Salinity gradient, ocean current, ocean wind and bio-mass.
Non-Conventional Energy: Type # 6. Hydrogen Energy:
Hydrogen is a versatile fuel and can play an important role. Hydrogen has the highest energy content per unit of mass of any chemical fuel. It is a raw material for chemical industry. It can replace coke or coal as a metallurgical reductant. Liquid hydrogen can be used for automobiles, aircraft etc.