Intro to Environmental Science
Part 1: Energy in our Lives Energy plays a key role in many facets of our lives. It powers our homes and businesses, transports us and goods, helps industry to manufacture products and, powers the agricultural community grow and distribute food. Chose one sector of the economy and write a ~250 word essay describing how energy is critical to the functioning of that sector. In your chosen sector, be sure to include how energy powering various technologies works well and, not so well. Also discuss the positive and negative aspects of how the energy use impacts humankind and the environment in general. Lastly, provide one recommendation on how energy use in your sector could be improved.
Part 2: Power Production and Use In the United States approximately 84% of power production is from fossil fuels, 30% being from coal. IU historically burned approximately 68,000 tons of coal every year at IU’s Central Heating Plant (this is only a portion of the energy used on campus). The Central Heating Plant heats most of the campus including the hot water.
Fuel heat contents of different materials Coal = 19,530,000 Btu per Short Ton (2,000 lbs) Note: heat contents of coal vary widely by types of coal Natural Gas = 1,021,000 Btu per 1,000 Cubic Feet (Mcf) Petroleum Fuel Oil = 5,871,390 Btu per Barrel (42 gallons) Note: Heat contents vary by type of petroleum product Last updated: February 15, 2013 http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=667&t=2
1. In one year how many GWh of energy could be produced with the amount of coal the central heating plant uses (1 short ton = 2,000 lbs of standard coal = 19.53 million BTU of energy)? a. At 100% efficiency? b. At 40% efficiency? c. At 15% efficiency? d. Explain why we would look at different efficiencies of power production from coal combustion. e. What are some negative impacts of using coal? (be specific)
2. a. How much land would be necessary to produce the same amount of energy from wind turbines at 40% efficiency of coal use (land use requirement 1,335 m2/GigawattHour)? b. What are some positive attributes of wind energy? (be specific) c. What are some negative attributes of wind energy? (be specific) d. Is it feasible to produce energy with wind turbines in Indiana? In Bloomington? Where you are from or would like to live someday? (http://www.nrel.gov/wind/resource-assessment.html) use this link to look at the wind map e. Is it feasible for IU to consider wind power production as a long term goal?
3. a. Go to the following website and put in Bloomington’s zip code. How many kWh of electricity would be produced in a day by a 1 m2 photovoltaic solar panel in Bloomington? What about 1 year? (http://pvwatts.nrel.gov) Use this link to calculate solar capacity in Bloomington b. How many 1 m2 solar panels would be necessary to obtain the same amount of energy at 40% efficiency of coal use? c. Is it feasible for IU to consider the use of photovoltaic cells for long term energy use?
4. Is there another alternative for IU power use, should we consider biofuels? Geothermal? (this is a short answer question you will need to do some research to answer) If you use any other resources besides the websites I have provided and the National Renewable Energy Resources website http://www.nrel.gov/ for Part 2, you will need to provide the citation with the assignment.