Green energy systems are the new power wave of the 21st Century and many cities today are utilizing these green technologies to update and supplement their older, outdated electrical systems through innovative, renewable, and sustainable energy sources. There are green power options that are available to cities now, and they can be categorized under solar, wind, and hydropower.
Active Solar energy is generated through solar panels placed in strategic locations in areas requiring electricity (rooftops, specially built stands and pedestals) that provide energy to solar panels on a home, commercial building, or to a large solar farm/solar array placed in specific locations to serve cities. The solar panels absorb the sunlight and convert it to electricity, usually 12 Volt DC (which is stored in a bank of 12 Volt batteries). It is then converted to 110 AC with the use of a power inverter.
As demand increases for access to solar power, cities involved in solar energy production are investing in community solar plants that harness solar power and distribute it for public use. With the generation of solar power being provided to cities, businesses, and homes, those local city engineers involved with the inner workings and logistics of green energy should be involved in educational advancement with an online masters in electrical engineering supplemented with specialization in green energy systems.
Passive solar is another utilization of the sun’s rays that pass through glass windows into an interior area that retains and absorbs the heat. Passive solar collectors can be in the form of insulated concrete or stone that absorbs the heat passing through the glass areas.
A wind turbine is powered by a propeller/rotor that uses wind to make electricity. The wind turns the blade which is connected to a generator, which in turn produces “wind energy” that is converted to electricity. Cities utilizing wind turbines require large areas of land for wind farms where turbines can be exposed to wind and generate sufficient power to provide electricity to populated areas. Individuals interested in wind turbine energy production require a large piece of property, at least an acre, and a strong wind resource. In order to pursue wind use, actual wind resources need to be checked as well as permitting and other requirements.
Cities utilizing hydropower systems will require a steady and large source of running/moving water either from dams or multiple rivers, as in mountainous areas. The power is produced when moving water spins rotors that turn a turbine or generator. This creates and generates the electricity. Individuals that have streams, creeks or other water sources available through private property ownership would have to determine the amount of power that could be obtained from the actual flow of water on the property before installing a hydropower system.
Green energy systems have come to key cities and are advancing to other areas throughout the country. Electricity will be provided in clean and sustainable ways to meet the power needs of growing towns and cities that want to participate in alternative ways to meet the energy needs of the future. Whether solar, wind or hydropower, these systems are part of the green way to future energy needs.