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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

How to Make a Simple Battery Charger With Bridge Rectifier Circuit?

Here you can read how to make a simple charger or adapter for charging 6 volt rechargeable battery. This charger works with a bridge rectifier circuit and a step down transformer. You can use this device as a AC adapter or charger for batteries. By selecting proper transformers and rectifier circuit it is possible to change the output of the charger. Thus you can design a charger circuit according to your purpose.

What is a Step Down Transformer?

Transformer is a device used to step up or step down the input voltage. A step down transformer reduces the input voltage and provide a lower voltage at output. A transformer works on the principle of mutual induction.

What is a Rectifier Circuit?

The output of a step down transformer is an AC voltage. But we need DC of the same voltage. A rectifier circuit is used to convert the AC voltage to DC. There are three main types of rectifier circuits.

1. Half wave rectifier
2. Full wave rectifier
3. Bridge rectifies

We are going to make battery charger working on a Bridge rectifier circuit. A diode is the main part of a rectifier, which converts the alternating current to direct current.

Bridge Rectifier

Circuit diagram of a dc charger with bridge rectifier is shown in figure. A bridge rectifier uses 4 similar diodes and a filter capacitor.

How to make DC battery charger

You need to buy the following components from an electronics shop.

1. Step down transformer 7.5 volt 500 mA
2. Four diodes IN4007
3. Capacitor 1000 microfarad 16v-1

Connect the components as shown in the Circuit diagram. You are done! Charger is ready to use. You can use this device as an AC adapter or as a charges for 6V battery. Buy some components such a box to hold the components, two pin wire, insulation tap etc to secure the charger. What's next, lets start now! I think you have a doubt about the  circuit. Share with me. I Can help you.
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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wind Energy

Wind Turbines
Experts say wind energy can't be world's largest renewable energy source. They point out that there would be a saturation point (do'nt scare, its far away) above which wind power farms cannot harness wind energy. Even though wind energy can be a promising renewable energy source for future. They you must be aware about advantages and disadvantages (pros and cons) of wind energy. This article is written for you.

 Advantages of Wind Energy

Wind energy is Efficient

Newer technologies are making the extraction of wind energy much more efficient. Dual systems that combine another renewable energy with wind energy can harness wind power more effectively, and they can provide continuous power output. 

Wind energy is Clean; Environment Friendly

Wind turbines doesn't emit any harmful or green house gases. Like conventional energy sources such as coal, petroleum energy, wind energy does not pollute the air. So Wind power is a Green energy source.

Wind Energy is Sustainable

Wind is actually a form of solar energy; winds are caused by the heating of the atmosphere by the sun, the rotation of the earth, and the earth's surface irregularities. For as long as the sun shines and the wind blows, the energy produced can be harnessed to send power across the grid.

Wind power is cost effective

Wind power is the most cost effective renewable energy source today. Cost per KW of wind power is much lower than other renewable energy sources.

Best Suitable in Rural& Remote areas

Wind power turbines can be deployed in Farms in rural areas. Farmers and ranchers can continue to work the land because the wind turbines use only a fraction of the land. In this way, remote areas that are not connected to the electricity power grid can use wind turbines to produce their own supply.

Wind energy can be used as Domestic or Commercial Power supply

Wind turbines are available in a range of sizes which means a vast range of people and businesses can use them. Single households to small towns and villages can make good use of range of wind turbines available today.

Wind energy reduces our dependence on Traditional fuel

Traditional energy sources are the most efficient energy source in the world. But, they are not environment friendly and are running out of us. Dependence on the fossil fuels could be reduced to much extent if wind energy is adopted on the much wider scale by all the countries across the globe. Wind energy can replace electricity from coal-fired power plants and thus reduces greenhouse gases that produce global warming.

Wind energy Creates Job opportunities; wind power jobs

Wind energy on the other hand has created many jobs for the local people. From installation of wind turbines to maintenance of the area where turbines are located, it has created wide range of opportunities for the people.

Wind power has disadvantages that affect effective power production from wind

Atmospheric pollution due to Noise generated by wind turbines

Though wind energy does not create environment problems, the turbines may produce noise pollution.

Wind energy is Intermittent in some locations

The strength of the wind is not constant and it varies from zero to storm force. This means that wind turbines do not produce the same amount of electricity all the time.

Lacks Storage facility

As well as other renewable energy sources ,one of the main disadvantages of wind energy is lack of large scale energy storage system. New technologies should be developed to overcome this difficulty.

Wind energy plays threat to Birds and wildlife

Wind turbines are usually made of blades that rotate continuously and fiercely. Due to the fact that the blades are usually placed high up in the air, they are known to kill birds that fly over it. Due to large scale construction of wind turbines on remote location, it could be a threat to wild life near by.

Wind energy is unpredictable in most sites

The main disadvantage of wind energy is that wind can never be predicted. That is one of the reasons that most of the companies determine wind turbine layout, power curve, thrust curve, long term
wind speed before deploying wind turbines. The location of a wind power system is crucial, and one should determine the best possible location for wind turbine in order to capture as much wind as possible. Coupling another source of energy with wind energy can help to provide continuous power supply to the grid.

Impact on Human eyes

Though many people believe that wind turbines actually look nice but majority of them disagree. People consider wind turbines to have an undesirable experience.

We should ignore those disadvantages of wind energy and concentrate our technology on maximum utilization of wind energy to build an energy secure Earth. Today we have high altitude wind turbines (besides offshore and onshore wind turbines)  to harness enormous amount of high altitude wind energy. Now, its your turn to express opinions, suggestions about our list of advantages and disadvantages of wind energy. If you have more points those not in this list, use our comment form and let up know and update the article

Image Credit: Wind Energy Image from Gurit by Gurit Composites, on Flickr
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power

Solar Panels

Solar power is the largest among renewable energy sources. But, we don't have an efficient and cost effective technology to harness solar radiation. Now a days, experts are more confident than before and say that they can manipulate a cheap and efficient method to harness solar energy. Recently Massachusetts institute researchers had came up with a new idea to use old car batteries to make cheap solar panels. We can find more and more promising news updates about solar power from various research groups. In such a circumstances, you should be aware about the advantages and disadvantages of solar power.

Advantages of Solar power

You are in the right place! Here we have a giant list of advantages of solar power for you.

Solar power Reduces Potential for global warming

Use of traditional energy sources such as petroleum, coal liberates excess amount of oxides of carbon which leads to Green house effect. Global warming threatens the survival of human society, as well as the survival of countless species. Luckily, decades of research have led to efficient solar panel systems that create electricity without producing global warming pollution. Unlike Other renewable energy sources Solar energy plays zero threat to the environment.

Solar power requires relatively zero maintenance

Solar panels also require little maintenance. After installation and optimization they are very reliable due to the fact that they actively create electricity in just a few millimeters and do not require any type of mechanical parts that can fail. Solar cells make absolutely no noise at all. They do not make a single peep while extracting useful energy from the sun.

Save Money by using solar power

Replacing rooftops and windows with solar panel can save you hundreds of dollars monthly on Electricity bill. Replace your windows with transparent solar panel to utilize sunlight in day time and to store solar energy for night. Yes, researchers have successfully developed transparent solar panels. Read here

Solar power is Predictable, reliable and renewable

Solar power can provide constant and continuous power supply in until the Sun stops working. The rising and setting of the sun is extremely consistent. All across the world, we know exactly when it will rise and set every day of the year. While clouds may be a bit less predictable, we do also have fairly good seasonal and daily projections for the amount of sunlight that will be received in different locations.

Solar Power Creates Jobs

Solar energy can be used in remote areas where it is too expensive to extend the electricity power grid. It will also provide job security for local people. As a source of energy, solar power is a job-creating powerhouse. Money invested in solar power creates two to three times more jobs than money invested in coal or natural gas.

Solar Energy can be cost effective in very near future

Solar energy is getting more cost effective. The technology for solar energy is evolving at an increasing rate. At present photovoltaic technology is still relatively expensive but the technology is improving and production is increasing. Here is a comment appeared in an energy blog "I was not interested in solar panels since they are very expensive. But one week ago when I found an research report on Massachusetts IT website about building low cost solar panels I get really excited.

Solar Panel Installation is simple

Solar panels are easy to install and does not require any wires, cords or power sources. Unlike wind and geothermal power stations which require them to be tied with drilling machines, solar panels does not require them and can be installed on the rooftops which means no new space is needed and each home or business user can generate their own electricity.

Solar power is a renewable source of energy with the most potential as it will continue to produce solar power as long as sun is there. Solar power produces no pollution, no voice pollution or emission, so environment friendly.

Solar power is the the conversion of the energy from the sun to usable electricity. The most common source of solar power utilizes photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic utilize a semi-conductor to absorb the radiation from the sun, when the semi-conductor absorbs this radiation it emits electrons, which are harnessed as electricity.

Disadvantages of Solar power

Expensive Initial Installation

The initial cost of purchasing and installing solar panels always become the first disadvantage when the subject of comes up. Scientists has been researching on solar panels for several years to develop low devices. Few weeks ago Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have discovered Useless car batteries can be used to construct low cost solar cells.

Solar power is intermittent,so unreliable

Unlike Geothermal renewable energy Solar power is Intermittent. Solar energy can only be harnessed when it is daytime and sunny. A solar panel is unable to supply continuous electricity. The location of solar panels is of major importance in the generation of electricity. Areas which remains mostly cloudy and foggy will produce electricity but at a reduced rate and may require more panels to generate enough
electricity for your home. In countries such as the UK, the unreliable climate means that solar energy is also unreliable as a source of energy. Batteries can be used to store solar power. Charge up the batteries on the sunny days and use that stored energy when the sun is hard to find. A few weeks ago we heard about a duel system that combines wind power and ocean current energy together. Such duel systems are applicable in the case of solar power in order to reduce intermittency.

Useless Solar panel causes Environment Pollution

A working solar panel does not affect the environment. But a dead solar panel may harm environment. Most of the photovoltaic panels are made up of silicon and other toxic metals like mercury, lead and cadmium. We hope new innovative technologies can overcome the worst of these effects.

Solar Panels are Less Efficient

Most commonly used solar panels are unable to absorb a lion share of the sun light falling on it. It reduces the efficiency of solar panel. Solar power stations can be built but they do not match the power output of similar sized conventional power stations. New emerging technologies however have increased the rate of efficiency of solar panels from 20 to 80 percent.

Large area is required for commercial Solar power production

Unlike home solar power system, a commercial system requires large area to install solar panels.

You know, Solar power is the backdoor source of energy for most of the renewable energy sources. That's why advantages and disadvantages of solar power is very important. Express your opinions, comments, new points in the commenting section.

Image Credit: solar panels by spanginator, on Flickr
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Advantages and Disadvantages of Geothermal energy

Geothermal areas are some places on Earth where high pressure steam is exhausted from the Earth crust without any external heat supply. It is due to the boiling of water in under water reservoirs due to the nearness of hot magma. Energy generated from such hotspot is termed as Geothermal energy. It is independent from climate and seasonal changes. Read more about advantages and disadvantages of geothermal energy

Advantages of Geothermal Energy.

1. Significant Cost Saving

Geothermal energy generally involves low running costs since it saves 80% costs over fossil fuels and no fuel is used to generate the power. Since, no fuel is require so costs for purchasing, transporting and cleaning up plants is quite low

2. Environmentally Friendly

Geothermal energy is generally considered environmentally friendly.There are a few polluting aspects of harnessing geothermal energy, but these are minor compared to the pollution associated with conventional fuel sources (e.g. coal, fossil fuels)

3. Constant power supply

Unlike other renewable energy sources,( solar power, wind energy), geothermal energy is continuous. Power generation is not dependent on weather, or any seasonal factors.

4. Renewable

Geothermal reservoirs come from natural resources and are naturally replenished. Geothermal energy is therefore a renewable energy source. Sustainable is another label used for renewable sources of energy. In other words, geothermal energy is a resource that can sustain its own consumption rate – Unlike conventional energy sources such as coal and fossil fuels.

5. Independent from Conventional energy sources

Because geothermal energy is energy in and of itself, no outside sources of fuel are needed to keep the power houses running.

6. Direct Use

Since ancient times, people having been using this source of energy for taking bath, heating homes, preparing food and today this is also used for direct heating of homes and offices. This makes geothermal energy cheaper and affordable. Although the initial investment is quite steep but in the long run with huge cost saving it proves quite useful

7. Job Creation and Economic Benefits

Government of various countries are investing hugely in creation of geothermal energy which on other hand has created more jobs for the local people

8. Massive Potential

Worldwide energy consumption – about 15 terawatts (TW) – is not anywhere near the amount of energy stored in earth.However, most geothermal reservoirs are not profitable and we can only utilize a small portion of the total potential.

9. Geothermal energy is Stable

Geothermal energy is a reliable source of energy. We can predict the power output of a geothermal power plant with remarkable accuracy.This is not the case with solar and wind (where weather plays a huge part in power production).

10. It is Great for Heating and Cooling

We need water temperatures of more than 150°C (about 300°F) or greater in order to effectively turn turbines and generate electricity with geothermal energy.

11. Less Maintenance Cost

Since they occupy less room for power generation, maintenance is easy and nearly negligible. It does not require regular servicing.

12. No by-products

There is no generation of any bi-products during the extraction of geothermal energy from the hot spot. So energy efficiency is more.

Disadvantages of Geothermal Energy

1. Environmental Issues

There is an abundance of greenhouse gases below the surface of the earth, some of which mitigates towards the surface and into the atmosphere. These emissions tend to be higher near geothermal power plants. Geothermal power plants are associated with sulfur dioxide and silica emissions, and the reservoirs can contain traces of toxic heavy metals including mercury, arsenic and boron.

2. Surface Instability (Earthquakes)

Construction of geothermal power plants can affect the stability of land. In fact, geothermal power plants have lead to subsidence (motion of the earth's surface) in both Germany and New Zealand. Earthquakes can be triggered due to hydraulic fracturing, which is an intrinsic part of developing enhanced geothermal system (EGS) power plants.

3. Expensive

Commercial geothermal power projects are expensive.The exploration and drilling of new reservoirs come with a steep price tag (typically half the costs). To get geothermal energy, requires installation of power plants, to get steam from deep within the earth and this require huge one time investment and require to hire a certified installer and skilled staff needs to be recruited and relocated to plant location. Moreover, electricity towers, stations need to set up to move the power from geothermal plant to consumer.

4. Not a wide spread source/ Location Specific

You just can't set up a geothermal power station anywhere you want. First of all, you'll need a location that offers just the right kind of hot rocks. Just any hot rocks won't do, since some rocks might prove too strong to drill through. These rocks also need to be within a reasonable depth to make drilling down to them a feasible option. Good geothermal reservoirs are hard to come by. Some countries have bee blessed with great resources – Iceland and Philippines meets nearly one third of their electricity demand with geothermal energy. If geothermal energy is transported long distances by the means of hot water (not electricity), significant energy losses has to be taken into account.

5. Sustainability Issues

Rainwater seeps through the earth's surface and into the geothermal reservoirs over thousands of years. Studies show that the reservoirs can be depleted if the fluid is removed faster than replaced. Efforts can be made to inject fluid back into the geothermal reservoir after the thermal energy has been utilized (the turbine has generated electricity). Geothermal power is sustainable if reservoirs are properly managed.This is not an issue for residential geothermal heating and cooling, where geothermal energy is being used differently than in geothermal power plants.

6. Possibility of Hotspot disappearance

Geothermal sites can run out of steam over a period of time due to drop in temperature or if too much water is injected to cool the rocks and this may result huge loss for the companies which have invested heavily in these plants. This difficulty can be overcame by extensive initial research before setting up the plant.

7. Impossible to Transport

Other energy sources such as Coal,petroleum products can be transfer to other regions from where it is mined. But geothermal energy is not transferable. Once the tapped energy is extracted, it can be only used in the surrounding areas.

8. Higher Possibility for hazards during construction.

Unlike solar or wind power, geothermal energy is independent from Sun. If too much cold water is pumped to the hot spot inside the Earth, it could cool the rocks too much, resulting the geothermal spot inactive. Comment your opinion below.

Image Credit: Hellisheidi geothermal power plant by ThinkGeoEnergy, on Flickr 
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