The simplest recovery systems extract energy from a system in the form of heat by raising the temperature of coolant water or other energy storage medium and then redirecting that heat for other use. More complex systems extract gasses and other combustible effluent and either use these gasses as fuel or combine them with other fuels to create a more efficient energy source. An example of this can be found in today's high-tech smoke stack scrubbers that recycle combustible gasses back into the energy furnace.
There are natural sources of recoverable energy as well. For example the methane gas produced by landfill decomposition can be used to fire a furnace to power a steam turbine to produce energy. Wave action and tidal action can be used to generate power as can wind and geothermal energy. Electricity can also be generated directly from photo galvanic cells. These cells today are not efficient enough to create energy on a large scale but the science of solar cells is growing in leaps and bounds and, when combined with new battery technologies, these cells and batteries will become an important stepping stone to the development of new energy technologies.
Many scientists and entrepreneurs believe that the universe is a natural energy source. They believe that energy, zero point energy, exists in every molecule and every inch of the universe including the vacuum of space. They believe that energy that holds electrons in orbit around atoms and the energy that creates molecular bonds of atoms in elements and compounds can be directed or redirected for use as an energy source. They believe that energy waves that exist even in the vacuum of space can be tapped as a viable energy source.
Atomic energy is one example of this zero point energy theory but many believe that atomic energy is only the beginning of this technology. We have all heard of the claims of cold fusion and the relatively new science of magneto hydrodynamics where magnetically charged fluids are used to create a kind of magnetic jet engine.
There is work being done on electric generators that use motors which incorporate extremely strong permanent magnets to increase the efficiency of an electric motor to a point seemingly beyond unity, where the energy output appears greater than the energy input. Some of these theories and claims seem to defy the laws of physics and many scientists are skeptical about these claims. There are some who say that these new technologies are being suppressed by science and economic consortium that fear this technology will change the economic and scientific balance of power.
Many of these new technologies could someday become reality and replace our dependence on fossil fuels but long before any of that can happen we need to develop ways to conserve and recover the energy we currently use.
It may be that some of these new technologies can be used to hybrid with today's common fuels to increase the efficiency of our current systems.
One example of this is the work being done to extract the hydrogen gas from water. The laws of energy conservation say that this cannot be done efficiently. That it will require more energy to separate the hydrogen from the water than the usable energy it creates. If standard electrolysis is used there is certainly a huge loss and the energy output is only a small fraction of the energy input making the process a total net loss but recent experiments with pulse frequency electrolysis are generating much greater yields of hydrogen gas. While this generation of hydrogen gas may never approach 100% efficiency it may create enough hydrogen gas to make feasible the creation of hybrid machines that increase the miles per gallon of our gasoline burning internal combustion engines to a point way beyond our current minimum mileage standards.
http://www.greenearth4energy.com was created to explore new sources of energy as well as the effective use of current energy resources. We will also explore ways to bridge the gap between today's energy resources and the resources of tomorrow. We will look at ways to use new technologies to create recovery systems that approach the zero-point energy levels of our current processes. We will recommend websites and other resources that we feel can add to your knowledge base as it relates to new energy technologies and energy resource recovery.
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Andy O Silliven is an engineer and author in the fields of electrical engineering. He enjoys writing about the topic and keeping up with current events and research in the area of renewable energy sources. Recommends: http://www.greenearth4energy.com