Thursday, July 7, 2011


First, heavy diesel machinery mined coal in huge quantities, grinds it and loads in a train diesel which is aimed at the power plant. Often, it is situated hundreds of miles. In that place, the coal is burned to release heat and CO2 and several other pollutants repugnant. Heat warms the water generates steam does to turn a turbine and finally generates electricity. Then the electricity is carried by high-voltage lines, often hundreds of miles away. Finally, voltage drops in a substation and is submitted by wire to their homes so that you can connect your toaster.

It is not a simple system, but works and achieves that you can finally put their bread in the toaster. Because of all the energy used by the machinery or will that is lost through power lines, your toaster receive less than 30% of the original energy coal. This is what we call a centralized system of generation, where electricity is generated centrally in large quantities and is then sent by power lines to a large number of houses and businesses.

Instead, imagine a neighborhood where every house is covered with solar panels and each is a small plant of energy capable of energizing alone and even help to neighbors when they need a bit of electricity extra.

This is known as distributed generation, and is one of the advantages of systems of renewable energy at the domestic level. Renewable energy is very flexible because it can be used on small systems to distributed generation or really massive installations for a centralized generation.

Or in any size of intermediate system. Of course, fossil fuels can be used in any of these types of systems, but there are many people who try to run their homes using a private coal plant (or even a generator diesel) because of the cost, noise and the smell.

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