By now everyone has heard of renewable technologies like solar and wind power. But, Mother Nature Network has compiled ten practical alternative energy sources that might be flying under your radar.
Here they are:
1. Saltwater Power- It is also called osmotic power or blue energy. This promising source of energy is generated when saltwater is added to freshwater, through a process called electrodialysis.
2. Helioculture - This process generates fuel by combining brackis water, nutrients, photosynthetic organisms, carbon dioxide and sunlight. Unlike algae fuel, helioculture produces fuel directly and does not need to be refined.
3. Piezoelectricity - This technology captures the kinetic energy of human movement. By placing piezoelectric material along sidewalks or in the soles of shoes electricity could be generated by every step a person takes.
4. Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion - This process uses the difference in temperature between deep and shallow water to power an engine.
5. Human Sewage - The explanation is self-evident. Norway's capital city, Oslo already has plans to power its public buses on human waste.
6. Hot Rock Power - A new form of geothermal energy that involves pumping cold saltwater down into the Earth to rock that has been heated by the Earth's mantle. As the water heats up, the energy created can be captured and transformed into electricity.
7. Evaporative Energy - Scientists have invented a micro-fabricated "leaf" which mimics nature. It can generate electricity from evaporating water as a result of the different electrical properties between water and air.
8. Vortex-induced Vibrations - This process captures renewable energy from slow-moving water currents. The energy is captured when water flows past a network of rods.
9. Nuclear Fusion - Helium-3 has potential to create clean energy through nuclear fusion. The only problem -- this nonradioactive isotope is incredibly rare on Earth. A solution: mine the moon -- Helium-3 is abundant on the moon.
10. Space-based Solar Power - The sun is always shining in space. The idea is to have orbiting solar panels which transmit the energy back to Earth.
Read the full story and slideshow at Mother Nature Network: 10 Suprisingly Easy Sources of Alternative Energy
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