Commercial Home-Study Convenient Training In Green Engineering - Insights
It is by using natural resources such as tidal or wind energy - collectively known as 'Green Energy' - that we could meet our daily energy needs. Collectively they are thought to be 'Green' because they are ecologically sound and easy to replace. It's interesting to note that in some instances we're actually travelling back in time to utilise some of the older energy skill sets e.g. Wind Power (Windmills etc.) Generally, this is the result of using up to date ideas, specifically those that are planet friendly and eco-efficient.
In the home environment, one can see examples such as Solar Thermal and Solar Water Heating Collectors. Equally there is electricity that is generated through roof-installed panels. Following on from this is a process known as Biomass Energy - which includes Boilers burning wood and other fuels. There is also the ground heat from the Sun - now known as Ground Source Heat Pumps. Lastly, there are two of the more historical forms of energy production - namely Wind Turbines and Hydropower.
Solar Thermal Energy Systems - Also known as Solar Energy, this mainly uses two, albeit different types of solar panels to get the desired results. To begin with, we have the concept of drawing energy from the Sun to heat water - known as Solar Water Heating Collectors. Additionally, there is the method of converting solar radiation into electricity known as Photovoltaic - or simply Solar Electrical panels. Typically, these panels are found on roofs - and need to be away from any light blocks such as trees, chimneys and other buildings.
As a result, Solar Water Power is often considered the most common form of Solar Energy in the UK. With the ability to provide almost half the annual need for hot water in the house, Solar Water heating systems are very important. Typically, to fit this type of equipment will cost between 500 and 1500 pounds for a DIY kit - all the way up to 2-5k for a full professional fitting.
Biomass Energy Based Systems: This is a general term for all forms of plant and animal material e.g. wood, straw, poultry litter and 'energy crops'. Due to its adaptability, it can produce a range of energy forms - from heat and electricity through to combinations of both. The ability to generate electricity is one of the UK's main green strengths - as it has one of the larger Biomass legacies within Europe. The lack of C02 given out by this form of energy is another positive element in the whole process. Having a tree planted in place of another (that is felled for energy production) helps overall.
'Energy Crops' trees such as Willow and Poplar play a major part in the process - under the banner of Short Rotation Coppice (SRC). Perennial grasses are also responsible for large quantities of dry matter. Other less known materials within this field are Agricultural and Municipal Waste. Agricultural Waste is commonly formed as a by-product of traditional agricultural work. Of equal importance is Municipal Waste, which comes from recycled wood and food.
Geo-Thermal Energy: This is primarily the heating of the Earth (mainly from the sun) and can be utilised in electricity and warm water production. By using the ground source temperature of approximately 12 degrees, we can either heat or cool buildings within the UK. These heat pumps do need some power to operate; but for every one unit of energy they use, they generate four units of energy in return. Heat source pump energy can go one step further (by gaining a 100 percent return) if the energy to power them comes from items such as wind turbines or solar electrical panels.
Systems Based On Wind Energy: Without a doubt, wind energy has to be one of the oldest forms of energy production known to man. Whether to your home or to a local grid, when the energy has been generated it must be delivered to a point of usage - and cannot be stored. To be fair, the UK has the highest level of wind generation within Europe. It is interesting to note that whilst we can produce 10 percent of our entire power requirement from wind power, at present we only produce 1 percent. Although electricity is still being produced from between 2-10 p per kWh, it could be generated from as little as 2p per kWh. Because of this, it is estimated that it takes between half a year to three quarters of a year to cover the installation costs.
Lastly, we have a discipline that the UK does well - namely Hydropower. Although new in its approach, the act of harnessing energy from water has been going on for a long time. In total, this could produce something like 2 percent of all electricity required in the UK.
A hydropower system transforms the kinetic energy of the moving water into another type of energy by means of a turbine. By using a dam or a natural river drop, these turbines do not require water storage. 'Micro-Hydro' however utilises old outdated sluices and dams. Although a lesser known form of electricity output, this process could supply 200mW of UK demand. Installing systems like this could cost between 200 pounds and 3k per kW of energy created.
The demand on 'Green Energy' continues to develop - in light of the energy demands worldwide. To be fair, the UK domestic market is actually leading the resurgence, with a variety of schemes.
Electricians and Plumbers in particular are expected to provide the main thrust of domestic installation expertise. It is the political view of this type of energy generation that results in grants and financial aid becoming ever-more prevalent. As a new industry, there are a range of new certificates to gain. Electrical or plumbing training that incorporates green technology could be very useful for the future.