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Powering Kepler-22b

A brief overview of three power sources that just might work on Kepler-22b
by

inez d

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of Powering Kepler-22b

A brief overview of three power sources that just might work on Kepler-22b Powering Kepler-22b Hydropower: water recycling Solar Power:
A battery that lasts
10 billion years Wind Energy:
Predicting the wind is a vane pursuit Solar power is not just large, reflective panels that convert the sun's light energy into usable electricity. This type of renewable energy is split into three categories:
~the aforementioned 'P.V' or Photo-Voltaic panels

~thermal energy (the processing and usage of the sun's radiating heat)

~wind energy (see Wind Power, section 3).

Solar power is used for many different purposes, from hot water heating systems to air conditioning systems, in residential and commercial use. Wind is created by uneven atmospheric heating by the planet's sun. As the planet orbits, different parts are exposed at varying levels. The air's tendency to move from areas of high pressure to low pressure causes it to flow. However, while the planet rotates, the air is mostly deflected around the high and low pressure areas. This natural atmospheric disturbance allows for the opportunity to gather the energy from the wind's flow and convert it to usable electricity through wind turbines.
Using a combined system of these three power units, people can start life on Kepler-22b without destroying the fragile terrain or exploiting it's resources. Now that the researchers of today know the dangers and potential future costs of negligence of the environment, people can make reasonable choices about the planet. The conversion of natural assets into electricity will be able to power the technology and transportation people will need on Kepler-22b. Located 600 light-years away,'Earth's twin', is being
considered for future human life. This extrasolar
planet orbits the G-type star Kepler-22 in 290 days, in the constellation of Cygnus. Sitting comfortably within the 'Goldilocks zone' of it's star and having an atmosphere that resembles a warm spring day on earth, Kepler-22b may soon become the next human-inhabited planet. But in order to maintain life on Kepler-22b, people will need certain things from Earth: Transportation. Technology. Electricity. And because fossil fuels are most likely nonexistent on Kepler-22b, the main sources for our energy on Earth will not be applicable. Fortunately, there are other options which generate renewable energy with relatively little waste. Astronomers reason that Kepler-22b is mainly composed of water, thus making hydropower a key source of energy. Kepler-22b is located fairly close to it's star; it would be able to use solar panels for power. The presence of an atmosphere would enable wind flow due to shifting pressures from the uneven heating of the surface by Kepler-22. This atmosphere would allow for the usage of wind turbines. Hydropower, also known as hydroelelctricity, is electricity generated by the downwards flow of water passing through a hydropower unit. The kinetic energy of the water is captured as falling water spins a turbine. An example
of a regular
hydropower unit the layout
of a hydro
pump-storage plant The amount of electricity generated by a hydropower unit is dependant on three main elements:

~the generating capacity of the turbine

~the 'turbine discharge' flow (the volume of water passing through the turbine in a given amount of time)

~the 'site head' (the vertical distance between the peak of the water source to the turbine). The higher the 'head,' the higher amount of gravitational energy the water will have as it passes through the turbine. Hydropower plants are categorized by their storage capacity vs their head height. These categories are:
~Low-Head/High-storage

~ High-Head/Low-storage

~Run-of-the-River power plants (situated directly onto the flow of the river; no reservoir)

~Pump-storage plants

The most ideal power plant for Kepler-22b is the pumped-storage type hydro unit. This hydro plant provides/stores electricity as it is needed, providing greater efficiency and less water processing.

Hyrdoelectricity would be highly beneficial to Kepler-22b because it burns no fuel and releases no greenhouse gases, pollutants, or wastes. Working costs are relatively low and the unit does not rely on availability/prices of fuel. Power plants can operate about 50 years or more without major replacements.
“Hydropower is a renewable, efficient, and reliable source of energy that does not directly emit greenhouse gases or other air pollutants, and that can be scheduled to produce power as needed, depending on water availability.”(C2ES 2011) "Solar energy is a clean alternative energy source. It's clear, given the current energy crisis, that we need to embrace new sources of renewable energy that are good for our planet. I believe very strongly in using technology to provide affordable options that all consumers can put into practice."
-Yang Yang
UCLA Engineering Professor PV panels are formed of a system of photo-voltaic 'cells.' These cells can be as small as 4x4 inches square. Two different semiconductors containing electrons absorb the energy, and the electrons move it around, creating an electrical current. PV cells are linked together in groups of approximately 40 to create energy flow. These groups are called modules; about 10 modules for a complete panel, or array. Depending on the size of the array, the PV cells can generate enough electricity to power a single, small building (i.e., a house) to a larger-scaled operation (i.e., an office building).
Photo-Voltaic Panels: Solar Energy Collectors: Standing for 'Heating, Ventilation, And Cooling', solar HVAC is useful on many levels. From small offices to large-scale factories, solar heating/cooling is cheaper than other air quality mechanisms,
Solar energy is collected in solar thermal panels, which power the air conditioner/heater. Thermal energy is taken and brought to the solar powered 'chiller,' which uses an antifreeze solution and a meticulously designed system of pipes, pumps, and controls to cool/heat the building, depending on the given control.
This heating/cooling unit is reliable and often works with no moving parts. The solar HVAC is comparably cheaper than other commercial ventilation systems. Costs of operating and maintaining are also very low. A diagram of
an HVAC system These three systems of solar power can be very advantageous to starting life on Kepler-22b because they create no waste and give out no emissions. As compared to today's conventional fuel-powered energy machinery, solar power is incredibly cheap and easy to use. Solar power units uses space efficiently, as they are typically mounted in places that are generally left unused. Why it works: Why it works: "In just a few short decades.....[wind energy is] now able to make a cost-competitive contribution to our growing energy needs.”
(Windustry ©2000-2012) moo Wind turbines, used in the processing of wind energy, have developed dramatically, making it a key player in renewable energy resources. From small farm turbines, capable of generating 1 kilowatt (kW) to large arrays of 7 megawatt (MW) mechanisms, this energy processor has become a common sight in certain areas around the world. Turbines operate by following a simple principle. Wind flows against three propeller-like blades that are connected to a rotor, causing the blades to spin. Connected to the rotor is the main shaft, which in turn spins a generator that creates electricity.

To extract the highest potential electricity from the wind, turbines need to be at least 100 feet (30 metres) or more above ground. This is where the wind is faster and less turbulent.

Wind energy can be used to power a single building
or be connected to an 'electricity grid' for a wider
distribution of power.
Scientists are currently in the process of developing
'floating wind farms.' So far, they seem to have three
options:
~ballast stabilized

~mooring line stabilized

~buoyancy stabilized Ballast Stabilised: This form of wind turbine is
held upright by a ballast located
below the water's surface.
The rotor blades rise high into the air, while
the body of the turbine is settled deep in the ocean.
To keep the turbine erect, the body is weighted with
a cement ballast. Mooring line stabilized: High tension cables hold this
form of turbine upright, even
during strong weather. A small
platform is located under the
water's surface. The platform
is fairly wide, in order to
counterbalance tilts and rocks
from the waves. Buoyancy stabilized: A platform is floating above
the surface of the ocean,
held to the floor by cables.
Similar to the mooring line
stabilized turbine; however,
the entire turbine is, in this
case, above water. Because of the adaptability of the wind turbine, it proves to be a reliable source for Kepler-22b. The height allows for greater energy production than fossil fuels and nonrenewable powers.
With both water and on-shore options, people will be able to erect turbines on Kepler-22b.
Why it works: References:
http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/meteorological-terms/wind-info1.htm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/12/111205-earthlike-planet-confirmed-life-nasa-kepler-habitable-space-science/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/nasa-finds-new-planet-kepler-22b-outside-solar-system-with-temperature-right-for-life/2011/12/07/gIQAPfzFdO_story.html

http://www.universetoday.com/16350/what-kind-of-star-is-the-sun/

http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/energy/renewable/hydro.php

http://www.solarbc.ca/blog/nitya-harris/2011/04/05/famous-quotes-solar-energy

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/429170/new-method-makes-solar-cell-production-cheaper-easier/

http://www.solarpanelsplus.com/commercial/solar-cooling/

http://www.dw.de/scientists-race-to-develop-floating-wind-farms/a-16540081

http://www.windustry.org/

http://www.weatherquestions.com/What_causes_wind.htm

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/wind/wind_animation.html
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