Energy Storage

The first battery was believed to have been invented somewhere in Ancient Mesopotamia, during either the time of the Parthian or Sasanian Empires, and is commonly known as the Baghdad Battery. The time period this encompases stretches from approximately the year 150 BC to 650 AD, long before historians believed human beings understood how to harness the power of electricity in any form. This was the first known example of any kind of energy storage technology, what is now currently one of the most important areas of scientific development being worked on today. The usage of the word battery is far more modern than the Baghdad Battery, having been coined to describe a group of electrical devices by Benjamin Franklin in 1748. Today, the term encompasses any kind of device designed for the purpose of storing energy for use in the future. The term accumulator is also used to describe these devices, but it is not a frequently used part of the common vernacular. The main purpose of energy storage devices is to allow us to convert energy from forms that are difficult to store in the long term into those that do so more easily and cheaply. The most widely used and economically sustainable form of energy storage today is the use of hydroelectric dams. As the world’s supply of fossil fuels and other non-sustainable sources of energy are steadily being depleted, finding more efficient and inexpensive methods to store energy is crucial to our society. Because of the …

solar power

Alternative Energy – Solar Power

Fossil fuels are a non-renewable resource, unable to replenish themselves in meaningful human timeframes at a sufficient rate. As they are also the main source of energy for the entire world, scientists have worked tirelessly to find cost-effective alternatives to these fossil fuels as a way to generate electricity. In recent years almost twenty percent of the global energy consumption could be attributed to these renewable resources. However, despite the potential it has as a replacement for oil and natural gas, solar energy only accounts for a fraction of that percentage. In simple terms, solar power is conversion of energy from light emitted by the sun into electricity we can use. This can be done in two primary ways. The first method to convert solar energy into electric energy is the use of the photovoltaic effect. The photovoltaic effect is the process by which certain materials, when exposed to light, begin to channel an electric current. This happens when the material (usually a metal) absorbs light, causing an electron within it to reach a higher-energy state. This causes different parts of the metal to have different amounts of electrical energy. This difference in energy levels, known as a gradient, leads to the flow of energy from areas where there is more of it to those where it is lacking. The devices that take advantage of this effect to produce and store electricity are known as photovoltaic cells. The second way that the energy of sunlight is converted into electricity is …