With power outages and failures becoming a reality of life, many people have started embracing alternative sources of power for sustenance. Power failures are becoming increasingly common all across the world. And when these regular sources of power fail, people are left in a lurch looking for solutions to carry on their day-to-day work uninterrupted. This is the reason why more and more people are looking for alternative solutions to obtain electrical power. The most common and widely used alternative is a generator. Often run on diesel or some other type of fuel, generators are used as backups or emergency power for security lighting, appliances, etc. However, the latest advancements in technology have also made it possible to use other alternative systems to generate power.
Generators and other power generation systems often use an alternative source of energy different from the utility provider. This allows the power to be generated even when there is power failure. The systems run on energy sources that are either renewable or non-renewable. A generator or UPS that runs on bio-fuel or solar power fall under the category of renewable energy. Similarly, generators or UPS that run on petrol or diesel, or take power from your local utility provider fall under the non-renewable category. Whatever the power source, generators and other such systems can make life much easier and help us stay prepared even in adverse situations.
Types of Alternative Energy Sources
Alternative power is divided into two categories namely non-renewable sources like petrol, diesel, etc. and renewable sources like solar power, wind power, hydropower etc. As the name suggests, non-renewable sources of energy are quite limited and will get depleted sometime in the future. These sources cannot be renewed and often have a dangerous impact on the environment. Renewable sources on the other hand are unlimited in nature and would last a long time before showing signs of depletion. Alternative energy sources are widely available and environment friendly as they don’t cause any pollution. Both types of energy sources can be used to power generators, or UPS systems.
A generator is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy for use in an external circuit. Generators use some type of fuel to generate electrical energy. They can be run on non-renewable sources like petrol or diesel generators. Alternatively, non-renewable sources of energy like bio-fuel can also be used to run the generators. However, the most commonly used and readily available source of fuel for generators is diesel and petrol. Diesel generators use an alternator and a diesel engine to produce electricity. There are many companies that offer diesel generator for sale along with other electrical power generators.
Utility providers use large turbine type generators to generate electricity. In comparison, regular homes require less electricity. Hence small generators are used for homes to generate electricity to power essential appliances like AC, heaters, refrigerators, deep freezers, lighting, etc. These generators can be expensive but are very useful in case of power outages.
Solar Power Systems
Solar energy is the most abundant energy resource on earth. According to The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth continuously. That’s more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use. The widespread development of solar power systems is all about harnessing the almost limitless energy of the sun for the uses of mankind. This renewable source of energy is converted into electrical energy through the use of photovoltaic cells. Today even home owners can install solar power systems to generate electricity from solar energy. The use of solar power systems is becoming increasingly popular among homeowner in recent years.
Solar energy is generated from the sun’s radiation via photovoltaic cells. These cells are connected in series and/or parallel to produce a suitable voltage and current that can be converted. The energy collected from the sun can either be converted with the help of an inverter or stored in batteries to be used at a later time. Solar cells produce a DC voltage while most home appliance use AC voltage. Hence solar power systems often use a converter device that converts the DC current into AC for the use of the home systems. These systems are available in various sizes and can either be installed through a company or manually by the consumer.
Wind Power Systems
Wind energy is the type of energy produced by wind currents and captured by utilizing wind turbines. According to WindEIS, The wind generator itself normally consists of three parts: wind turbines fitted with aerodynamic blades which rotate by the wind pressure. The turbines drive a shaft or an alternator either directly or through a gearbox. The turbine is then mounted on a pole or tower structure, depending on its size. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the winds into mechanical energy. The wind turns the blades of the turbines which connect to a generator. The generator then converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy. This unit is connected to a charge controller to stabilize the voltage and current. This electrical energy can be used to power homes, businesses, schools, and the like.
Wind energy is a free, environment-friendly, renewable source of energy. And unlike other power plants, wind plants emit no air pollutants or greenhouse gases making it a clean, non-polluting source of energy. Also, it can be produced at any time whether its day or night. However, wind energy can only be produced in places with ample winds and only when there is sufficient wind available. This makes it an unpredictable source of energy. The initial cost of plant installation is pretty high. And since wind farms are generally situated in remote locations, the supply of electricity from the plants to other locations is sometimes difficult. Moreover, the noise produced by rotor blades and the damage caused to birds and bats is also a drawback. While wind power is mostly generated in wind farms, small power systems are also available and can be installed relatively easily by the consumer.