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16 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
How do silicon cells work?
Sunlight strikes and excites electrons which create electricity. Metal carries the current.
How did ancient people take advantage of the sun?
They built south-facing homes so that they could maximize exposure in the Winter and shade in the Summer.
What is the number one use of natural gas or electricity for most homeowners?
Heating the house.
What do solar thermal plants use to collect the sun's energy?
They use mirrors that heat up oil tubes which boil water which spins a turbine.
What is an important use of photovoltaic panels in the developing world?
They are used to power satellites, pump water in Africa, and power coast guard buoys.
What is the main challenge for wind turbines and how is this issue solved?
The fact that the wind is not everywhere all the time. It is solved by diversification and the ability to turn towards the wind on their own.
In what decade did wind energy see resurgence?
The 1980s
What percentage of electricity does wind power generate for the U.S.?
Less than 1%
How much electricity is produced by geothermal energy in Iceland?
26.5% of the nation's needs
Does geothermal energy release greenhouse gases?
Yes, but in a year it releases the same amount that a coal plant does in a week.
How far below the Earth's surface is the air a steady temperature between 50 and 75 degrees fahrenheit year-round?
8 feet below
How does the heat exchanger work in summer and winter?
It uses antifreeze liquid which carries heat out during the summer and in during the winter.
What kind of car do you need to use vegetable oil?
Any, as long as it has been converted.
What plant do they use in Brazil to create ethanol? In the U.S.?
Sugar cane in Brazil and biomass/leftovers in the U.S.
What are some of the benefits of switchgrass?
fast growing, little water use, can grow almost anywhere, and many more
How can tides be used to produce power?
We can collect water from high tide, and then force it through turbines when the water goes out during low tide.