Alternative Energy Sources

Pauline Said:

I want to discover/work with alternative energy sources. What is the best major to go for in college?

We Answered:

Chem Engineering is probably your best bet for alternative fuels you can take classes in environmental engineering but not all schools offer a specific major for that.

Heidi Said:

How efficient are fossil fuels compared to alternative energy sources?

We Answered:

You can’t make a meaningful comparison that way.
A coal plant, for example, may have 30% thermal efficiency. The coal it burns, though, comes from plants that had only about a 2% efficiency in turning sunlight into biomass. A nuclear plant using the same steam technology as a coal-fired plant has about the same thermal efficiency, but involves far less fuel – indeed, some nuclear plants make more fuel than they use.
Thin-film solar panels are only about 1/5 as efficient, area for area, as standard silicon solar panels, but cost about 1/10 as much. Either panel has far higher overall efficiency than a coal-fired plant, but involves manufacturing costs that makes their electricity more expensive if subsidiary costs (like adverse health effects) are neglected.
Relative availability of energy is also an issue. Solar and wind aren’t always available. A hydroelectric dam becomes useless if the river feeding its reservoir dries up.
The wiki article referenced discusses relative costs of electricity produced by various methods.

Aaron Said:

how do alternative energy sources work?

We Answered:

alternative energy is from the sun air or water this is use instead of electricity even though by doing something with alternative energy you can create (generate) energy.

in my class some classmate already do theirs.
here is the ides i most like. (only one i put attention)

a oven that works with sun.
you use some carton and cover it with aluminium and other stuff but i don’t remember.
http://www.cie.unam.mx/~arp/solar1.html
i know is in spanish but just look the pictures so you get the idea.

There’s was one of my classmates who make i light bulb shine but i don’t remember how he did it, the thing i do remember is that it shines when the wind blow.

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