Introduction to Ocean and Geothermal Energy

Did you know we can harness green energy from the oceans, the Earth’s core and organic material from plants and animals?

Publisher: NPTEL
This course will introduce you to alternative energy sources using ocean and geothermal energy. Study the basic concepts and types of geothermal reservoirs and tidal energy. Learn how to capture these energy sources to take advantage of their benefits before studying biomass (organic animal and plant material) as an alternative source of energy.
Introduction to Ocean and Geothermal Energy
  • Durata

    4-5 Oras
  • Students

  • Accreditation


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This free material gives you an overview of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), which is the energy that is obtained by harnessing the tides using an alternator. This system can be used to generate electricity, transforming tidal energy into electrical energy, which is considered safe and profitable. Learn about the challenges of taking advantage of this energy source and the by-products of OTEC. It is considered ‘clean’ because the primary power source is not depleted by its exploitation and it is not produced in a way that creates polluting by-products of any kind. The current challenges include the relationship between the amount of energy that can be obtained with current means, and the economic and environmental cost of installing the necessary devices has prevented a massive implementation of OTEC across the globe.

Next, you will study geothermal energy, another form of clean power, which can be extracted directly from the ground without the need for sophisticated technologies or purification through hot rock bodies or conduction and convection. Learn where geothermal energy is available and how there are different levels of heat depending on the prospecting that has been carried out. You will study the first stage of geological analysis, including the use of geological, geophysical and geochemical tools to locate anomalies that can reduce the search area. Grapple with the challenges that this form of energy presents, such as the availability of reservoirs and the fact that some geothermal sources do not have a high enough temperature to produce steam. Instead, these zones of lower temperature can provide energy for the air conditioning of buildings. We will also discuss the three levels of water forms based on location, namely supersaturated steam, superheated steam and hot water. The advantages of geothermal energy in contrast to OTEC are listed for you to analyze.

Finally, you will look into biomass energy and evaluate your position on whether it is clean energy or not. The process by which plants transform the radiant energy of the sun into chemical energy through photosynthesis is discussed, including how part of that energy is stored in the form of organic matter. Chemical energy from biomass can be recovered by burning it directly or turning it into fuel. The pros and cons of extracting energy from biomass are discussed: one advantage is that it could provide substitute energies for fossil fuels, thanks to liquid, gaseous or solid agrofuels. This, however, depends on not using more biomass than the net production of the exploited ecosystem. Considerations must be made on whether any other fuel consumption is incurred in the transformation processes and that the energy conversion is the most appropriate use compared to other possible uses, such as fertilizer and food. You will study the way in which biomass provides complementary fuel to fossil fuel, helping the growth of world consumption and its corresponding environmental impacts, especially in the transport sector. Understand the processes by which it is obtained and the classification of the 10 countries that most use this alternative form of energy. This course would be of benefit to those in the agricultural industry, those interested in supplementing their current fossil fuel energy consumption with a more durable alternative or students studying environmental science and renewable energy.

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