Recently, there has been an increased usage of renewable energy sources at small-scale decentralized systems with capacity in the kW scale and also at the medium-scale systems (often called utility-scale) with capacity of a few MW. Large Scale systems still make use of fossil fuel technologies to produce hundreds of MW. The following sections introduce the conventional and non-conventional technologies out there. It also gives their main features and characteristics and also a comparative analysis of these power generation types.
1. NON-CONVENTIONAL SOURCES OF ENERGY
The commercial non-conventional energy technologies for electricity generation are briefly discussed next. Their main features are provided, together with an insight into their common scale and real applications.
1.1 SOLAR ENERGY
Solar energy is one of the renewable energy sources that are highly sought after because of its applications and also as of the cleanest forms of energy. Solar energy applications are con...
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...on the American market. The most common brands were Wincharger (200 to 1200 W) and Jacobs (1.5 to 3 kW). These were used on farms to charge storage batteries which were then used to operate radios, lights, and small appliances with voltage ratings of 12, 32, or 110 volts. A good selection of 32-VDC appliances was developed by the industry to meet this demand. After World War II, we entered the era of cheap oil imported from the Middle East. Interest in wind energy died and companies making small turbines folded. The oil embargo of 1973 served as a wakeup call, and oil-importing nations around the world started looking at wind again. The two most important countries in wind power development since then have been the U.S. and Denmark though the recent world leader of wind farms is China who has been progressing rapidly in the last few years with a large wind potential.
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