Water energy can be classified as indirect solar energy. Water flow is caused by the water cycle. The main process is that natural water sources such as oceans and lakes absorb energy from the sun.
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After that, some of the water will evaporate into steam. When there is more water in the air and come together until they can condense into rain that falls on the ground There will be a flow of water on the ground. Some of the water will seep through the soil layer and flow together to form groundwater. Rivers and groundwater flow converge in the ocean. which completes this cycle So the water cycle never ends. And is a system that is renewed all the time, so water is considered a renewable energy source that does not run out. But the use of water energy has advantages and disadvantages as follows.
Advantages of hydroelectric power generation
1) Hydro energy is clean energy. Does not cause pollution to the environment
2) It is a cheap energy source.
3) Hydropower is an energy source that can be obtained within the country.
4) Water is a renewable energy source. that have not run out
5) Reduce fuel imports from foreign countries.
6) Reduce CO2 emissions from burning fuels that cause global warming.
Disadvantages of Hydroelectric Power Generation
1) Generating electricity from large hydropower dams will have environmental impacts. Especially in the area where the dam is built, trees must be cut down to use as a water reservoir. which affects the forest ecology
2) Building a dam to block the flow of water will affect the migration of fish in natural water bodies, but a good dam should have a channel for the fish to travel back and forth between the front and back. of the dam
3) Dam construction will affect the quality and flow of water. The dam will reduce the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.
ocean heat energy
Earth receives an enormous amount of heat energy from the Sun each day, 30% of this energy is reflected back into space. The rest was absorbed by the clouds. ocean and land It is estimated that the amount of solar energy that the earth absorbs in one day is equal to the amount of energy that the whole world consumes for many years. Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is made up of seas and oceans, so seas and oceans are the largest absorbers of solar energy.
The surface of the upper sea is exposed to direct sunlight. Therefore, at the surface of the sea water will have a temperature. higher than the deep sea water in the seas and oceans in the tropics and subtropics At the equator, the temperature at the top of the water is about 25 ° C, and at the depth of about 1000 m, the temperature drops to about 5 ° C. Scientists rely on the difference in the temperature of the water at the top. and below as a basis for the development of thermal power plants
Sea water temperature decreases with sea depth.
The seas and oceans are good sources of heat energy from the sun. Because water has a relatively higher heat capacity than other substances, the temperature of seawater decreases, asking the depth of the sea.
There are 2 systems of electricity generation from thermal energy from the Mahalamut: closed system and open system.
The difference in sea temperature above and below can be used to generate electricity
Although the sea temperature is not much. But with human ingenuity, the temperature of seawater can be used as a heat source in ocean thermal power plants. with the following method
1) provide warm water from the sea above. It is a heat source to transfer heat to liquids with low boiling points such as ammonia (boiling point – 33.3 degrees Celsius) or Freon (boiling point – 29 degrees Celsius).
2) when ammonia or freon is heated from sea water It will boil into high pressure steam. This high pressure vapor Will be used to rotate the turbine of the generator.
3) Then the cold sea water will flow through the condenser which acts to change the vapor of the working fluid. back to liquid again
4) The change of state of the working fluid occurs. It’s a perpetual cycle.
* Working fluid refers to a liquid with a low boiling point.
Advantages of Ocean Thermal Power Plants
1) No fuel required
2) No air pollution
Disadvantages of Ocean Thermal Power Plant
1) High construction cost
2) The power plant must be in the deep sea.
3) Must withstand severe storms in the ocean.
4) Must be resistant to corrosion by salt in seawater. and erosion by waves
5) large power generation equipment and has not been developed well enough for a closed system
Ocean Thermal Power Plant
Although the generation of thermal electricity from the ocean. will have a high cost because no one has ever done it. This type of power plant has already been built in the Hawaiian Islands. which is one of the states of the United States. The capacity is 500 watts and there is a plan to increase the capacity to 1 MW.
China builds ocean thermal power plants
China is building an ocean thermal power plant in Hainan.
Thailand’s ocean thermal energy potential
Thailand does not yet have the potential to utilize energy from sea temperatures. Since the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman coast are not deep enough to cause a large difference in temperature between the sea and the sea below.