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Questions tagged [electricity-generation]

methods for producing electricity, including inputs (fuel, land, water, air) and byproducts (heat, waste, emissions)

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16
votes
3answers
3k views

What's the average efficiency of pumped hydroelectric energy storage facilities?

Pumped hydroelectric storage has, to date, been the most scalable way to store electricity (in this case, in the form of gravitational potential energy), allowing us to spread the time between when ...
14
votes
3answers
9k views

How much power can a bicycle generator produce?

I was interested in generating electricity using dynamo-electric generators when all external power sources are dysfunctional (power line fault, no wind, not enough sunlight, etc). Different bicycle ...
12
votes
1answer
6k views

Which types of spare electric motors from common consumer appliances are suitable to repurpose as generators?

I've heard that washing machine motors (in particular, the Fisher & Paykel branded ones which are local to me in New Zealand) are quite suitable for repurposing for generation use. Other types ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Trickle-charging batteries for outdoor usage/ wind turbine suggestions

I have a Shimano Hub Dynamo wheel from an old bike, I intend on turning into a small wind-turbine, probably starting off like this but being modded further when I have the time. My modest aim is to ...
10
votes
2answers
380 views

Why are Fresnel lenses not widely used in the production of solar electricity?

Why are Fresnel lenses not commercially used in the production of steam to run a turbine and produce electricity?
8
votes
1answer
470 views

How many hours a day would you have to pedal to generate enough electricity for your apartment?

The bicycle is the most efficient machine ever invented in terms of energy conversion. The idea of converting the energy produced by exercise machines to electricity is hardly new. Now suppose that ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is solar energy the best renewable source of energy?

Here is my thinking on renewable resources. Biomass is the absolute worst way to go because it releases CO2 and damages habitats. Geothermal is not far behind but is for a different reason. ...
8
votes
1answer
180 views

Is the energy used to manufacture and install solar panels in proper balance with the energy output from them? [duplicate]

From mining/harvesting materials to altering them into useful manufacturing materials to making actual products, and then packaging them and shipping them to retail stores, or directly to customers, ...
8
votes
3answers
146 views

How the grid is managed in markets with high renewable energy penetration

As many people know, many of the renewable energy technologies generate fluctuating power dependent on availability of the power generating source e.g. wind and solar et al. Balancing power must be ...
7
votes
2answers
306 views

Anything similar to GravityLight that can be readily purchased?

Ever since it was first mentioned in a popular news site, I've always been interested in GravityLight. But I've never been able to go to a store or a site and just buy it. Is there anything vaguely ...
7
votes
2answers
172 views

What method is best to gather energy?

Backstory: I dream everyday of running from society, setting up a little farm with my husband, and being free to enjoy nature. However, I love the internet and don't want to lose access. It's much ...
7
votes
2answers
136 views

Is using vegetable oil for electricity generation more efficient than burning whole plants?

This question is based on the premise that using "cheap" biofuel in a diesel engine to power a generator (and not using batteries) is better than the alternatives. My understanding is that if you must ...
7
votes
2answers
704 views

What are the physical limits on wind turbine size?

Wind turbines just seem to keep growing. Predictions a few years ago that a 120-metre diameter rotor was going to be the maximum, have turned out to be wrong, and 154-metre rotors are being installed ...
7
votes
1answer
95 views

What scope is there for price reductions in photovoltaic inverter costs?

In almost all of the world (except the USA, which has specific local cost challenges), system photovoltaic (PV) costs have come down a lot, to about €2 per installed watt. A large part of the ...
7
votes
2answers
94 views

How can I build an ecologically conscious dam on a small brook?

I have a brook at the bottom of my property; currently a culvert empties into a small pool that then flows further downhill to the brook. I'm interested in adding a few more feet of depth to the pool ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

What has been the greenhouse gas impact of shutting down Japanese nuclear power plants post-Fukushima?

Japan shut down virtually all nuclear power plants after the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant accident. What has been the greenhouse gas impact of this decision? Have people ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Where are the world's wave resources, beyond the UK and Portugal?

Are there maps of the global resource for near-coast (<200km or so) wave power? I know that the UK has a particularly good resource - the kinetic energy in the waves in UK waters amounts to an ...
6
votes
1answer
610 views

Types and quantities of air pollutants by fuel, per kWh, for electricity generation?

An often repeated claim is that transitioning from coal to natural gas reduces air pollution... but what pollutants? and by how much? how is the potential reduction calculated? While natural gas (...
6
votes
2answers
304 views

Are RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) an effective method to “green” industry?

Chris Goldie's answer to a question on sustainable web infrastructure brought this question up. From the US Environmental Protection Agency: A renewable energy certificate, or REC (pronounced: rěk)...
5
votes
3answers
131 views

Energy storage idea: Pumped hydroelectric storage in ocean using difference in salt content

Note: Updated the calculcation, found an error. With that, the concept isn't economically viable any more. I wanted to share a concept for a possible cheap large scale energy storage concept that has ...
5
votes
1answer
70 views

Is there an “energy returned on materials invested” index for energy sources?

We already try to measure how much energy is invested (EROEI) in the production of energy, but I have a hard time finding numbers on the materials invested. For example: What is the total energy a ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Is an electric vehicle more sustainable just because it runs on batteries? [duplicate]

So, is driving an EV (like the Tesla Model S) actually sustainable? Does it not matter how the actual power/energy was created? Does this matter?
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Best course of study for learning to build electrical systems and supporting electronics for an off grid power station

I'm working on constructing a totally self sufficient (i.e. totally off grid) building in the wild. I do not want to restrict myself to any particular source of power (hydro, solar, wind etc), but I ...
5
votes
1answer
88 views

What metrics are usually used to quantify forecasted power error for weather-dependent renewables?

What metrics are usually used to quantify forecasted power error for weather-dependent renewables such as wind or PV? I guess that there are at least two kinds of errors: where the magnitude of the ...
5
votes
1answer
33 views

How accurate are consultant pre-construction energy assessments?

For power plants where the energy that could be generated is driven by exogenously variable factors, such as wind farms, PV power plants, and run-of-river hydro, which are all driven by weather, how ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Calculating wheel and motor size for run-of-river hydroelectric generator [closed]

I am a student designing a hydro electric generator used on rivers to collect kinetic energy from horizontal water flow, rather than potential energy from vertical water drops. My idea is to turn a ...
4
votes
3answers
500 views

Does the price of polysilicon (for solar PV panels) depend on oil prices?

The assertion that the answer to this question is "yes" was made in an answer to another question here: Which solar power technology has the highest energy return on investment (EROI aka EROEI)?. The ...
4
votes
2answers
45 views

Is there a simple on-line tool for estimating wind turbine power output?

The back-and-forth in the comments on this answer sent me searching for a simple tool that would enable a user to put in a location, wind turbine size, and a few other parameters, in order to estimate ...
4
votes
1answer
407 views

What does the P90 of a wind resource mean?

I've heard that investors use the P90 of a wind resource when considering an investment. What kind of measure is it, what does it actually mean, and how is it calculated?
4
votes
1answer
43 views

What can be used to power an incinerator that produces electricity?

What can and cannot be sent to an incinerator plant (Virginia) for producing electricity from heat? Can there be anything other than plastics, metals, and paper products in the bin?
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Is there a recent study that shows how accurate wind turbine wake models are?

Wind-turbine wake models are used in the design of wind farms, to optimise the choice of turbine model, and the layout of the turbines. They're also sometimes used in the operation of wind farms, to ...
3
votes
3answers
848 views

Is 3 phase electrical generation more efficient to utilize than single phase?

Is 3 phase power more efficient to generate/use? How difficult or complicated is it going to be to provide balanced single phase load(s) from a 3 phase service? (equipment & controls required) If ...
3
votes
1answer
251 views

What is the wind wake effect and why is important for wind turbines?

I was reading about wake models. However it is unclear to me how they are used to model wind turbines. Could anybody explain me what are wake models and why it is important to predict wakes in wind ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Solar charging an e-bike's lithium battery while riding

I would like to know what parts I would need to charge a 36V lithium battery for an ebike? I want to charge the battery while riding the bike for greater range.
3
votes
1answer
168 views

Is Tesla Powerwall a good investment?

I'm trying to determine if investing in a couple of Tesla Powerwall units to store solar energy is a wise financial decision. My energy cost is $0.1649/kWh. The installed price of the two Powerwall ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

European energy production figures and graphs

I'm interested in the breakdown of energy production by individual EU country. For the EU I found this site, it's good, but it does not offer the kind of breakdown I'm interested in - I'd like to see ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Is there any way to know if by purchasing renewable energy certificates from my provider is actually modifying their portfolio?

Renewable Energy Certificates seem like a great way to prove your green. I like the idea. My Electric company is offering to sell me RECs along with the electricity I consume. They market it like I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Soot from factories?

If soot was filtered from power plants, are there any trees or plants that would love to grow in it if mixed in the soil, if it is a sulfur substance? Could it also be filtered and used in the ...
2
votes
4answers
125 views

Will a warmer climate reduce energy demand and increase solar PV production?

Nowadays, everyone talks about it: climate change, and more importantly, how to stop it from happening. Although there's a lot of debate around the topic, the consensus is that by inventing a way of ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Is it possible to convert rain drops to energy?

Would it be possible to convert water drops into energy using a dynamo? A heating mechanism could then be used to transform the water back to a vapor to start the cycle again.
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Electric cars and grid power capacity

The UK has a target to be carbon-neutral by 2050: As we can see in the image large cuts across all type of CO2 emissions are required. This article by the BBC suggests a number of ways in which ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Does a short-term shut down of a coal plant cause more CO2 emissions than keeping it running?

According to this article from Reuters, it takes up to eight hours for a coal plant to reach maximum generation. This means that four up to eight hours after it starts up, the plant is burning coal at ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

How effective are “GreenUp” (opt-in utility company green energy) programs? [duplicate]

My local Seattle utility offers a "Green Up!" program where customers can pay extra on each bill to buy energy from more renewable sources. I'm signed up to contribute at the highest level ($12/month),...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Where can I get a methanol generator?

I’m looking for a source for a methanol generator. Google is not helping. If nobody makes them, maybe a good solid methanol motor could be attached to a generator. Please help me if you have ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

What level of light intensity (lumens) do you need across a solar panel in order to obtain 15% energy efficiency?

What level of light intensity (lumens) do you need across a solar panel in order to obtain an incident-light to energy-output efficiency of 15%?
0
votes
2answers
53 views

A hydropower based power-generating fitness system and some questions

I'm currently researching and experimenting a system concept about hydropower-based fintness. I recorded my initial experiment footage and you can watch the video on Youtube. Befor talking about this ...
0
votes
2answers
158 views

Is hydrogen a good way of storing energy from excess hydroelectric generation? [closed]

Referring to hydro electricity generation, a lot of what we produce is wasted as the buyer buys only the minimum generation. What would be the appropriate measure to use that excess energy? Is ...
-1
votes
3answers
210 views

Is wind power practically dead?

U.S. annual installations have been declining since 2012. Essentially everywhere else, besides China's low quality wind, there's only a handful of new farms being built. Is wind pretty much dead?
-5
votes
4answers
236 views

Getting power from an innovative new mechanism

I am new to StackExchange and trying my best to stay within the rules. I have invented an efficient mechanism -- a rotating mass magnetically attached inside a closed loop (GB 2517244). I am ...