Solar and Geothermal Energy

Overview

Energy and the Environment is a six-volume set that examines the history, technology, science, and environmental and social implications (including issues of environmental justice) associated with the acquisition and production of energy. Designed to complement science curricular, each volume describes comprehensively one or more sources of energy and the technology needed to make it useful. The books emphasize the science on which such technology is based, the limitations of each technology, the environmental ...

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Overview

Energy and the Environment is a six-volume set that examines the history, technology, science, and environmental and social implications (including issues of environmental justice) associated with the acquisition and production of energy. Designed to complement science curricular, each volume describes comprehensively one or more sources of energy and the technology needed to make it useful. The books emphasize the science on which such technology is based, the limitations of each technology, the environmental effects of its use, questions of availability and cost, and the way that government policies and energy markets interact.

Solar and Geothermal Energy describes two of the least environmentally disruptive sources of power by which electricity is generated today. In addition to an overview of both solar and geothermal energy and the processes by which they can be harnessed, the book details how these sources are used to supply electricity and discusses ways in which governmental policies affect the growth of these sectors of the power market. The book also features an exclusive interview with John Farison, director of process engineering for Calpine Corporation at the Geysers Geothermal Field, one of the world's largest and most productive geothermal facilities, in which he discusses the challenges of maintaining output at the facility.

The volume includes information on

alternative geothermal technologies

economic and environmental consequences and energy

geology and heat

government policies and energy

heat engines and solar power

photovoltaics

solar power and geothermal energy use through history

sunlight and geometry

The book contains more than 40color photographs and four-color line illustrations, sidebars, a chronology, a list of acronyms, a glossary, a detailed list of print and Internet resources, and an index. Energy and the Environment is essential for high school students, teachers, and general readers who wish to learn about the effects on society of large-scale energy production and consumption.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816070862
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Series: Energy and the Environment Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xiv

Part I Solar Energy 1

1 A Brief History of Solar Power 3

Sunlight and Heat 4

The Photophone: A Solar-Powered Telephone 11

Early Photovoltaic Technology 12

2 Sunlight and Geometry 16

The Electromagnetic Spectrum 17

Geometry and Sunlight 23

Space-Based Solar Power 24

3 Photovoltaics 31

Light versus Electricity 32

Technical Considerations 36

Photons and Electricity 39

Net Metering 41

4 Heat Engines and Solar Power 44

Converting Thermal Energy into Electrical Energy 45

Advantages and Disadvantages of CSP Technology 51

Storing Solar Energy 52

5 Two Other Important Solar Technologies 56

Solar Water Heaters 57

Demand Management 62

Greener Architecture 64

6 Economic and Environmental Consequences of Solar Power 69

Matching Solar Supply with Consumer Demand 70

Connecting Electricity Producers with Consumers: A Case Study 75

Available Energy 77

7 Government Policies and Solar Energy 81

Solar Energy Policy in the United States 82

Distributed Generation 86

Solar Energy in Germany 89

Part II Geothermal Energy 95

8 A Brief History of Geothermal Energy 97

Heat, Geology, and the Age of Earth 99

Magma Chambers 102

Location of Geothermal Sites 104

Early Geothermal Technology 108

9 Geology and Heat 112

Mining Thermal Energy 113

Fenton Hill, New Mexico: The First Enhanced Geothermal System 118

Heat Engines 121

10 The Generating Station 124

Technical Considerations 125

An Interview with John Farison on the Challenges of Producing Power at the Geysers 132

Corproduction of Geothermal Energy 141

11 Two Other Geothermal Technologies 144

Direct-Piped Hot Water146

Geothermal Heat Pumps 149

12 The Economics and Environmental Impacts of Electricity from Geothermal Sources 155

Economic Costs and the Problem of Scale 157

Global Warming and Geothermal Power 162

Geothermal Energy and the Environment 164

13 Government Policies and Geothermal Energy 169

The International Energy Agency 171

The Cost of Energy 174

Geothermal Power Production Today 176

Chronology 180

List of Acronyms 184

Glossary 185

Further Resources 188

Index 193

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