Non-conventional sources of energy are those sources which are not in common use at this time but are being considered or explored to bring to routinely used in the future. With the exhaustion of conventional sources of energy is the search for non-conventional sources of energy has been intensified.
Conventional sources of energy are coal, gas, oil, wood and electricity. These sources are in routine use nowadays.
Non-conventional sources of energy are solar energy, geothermal energy, wind energy, tidal power and ocean thermal gradients.
- Solar Energy
The energy of the sun is called solar energy. It has been estimated that on the average 180,000 kilowatts solar energy is falling per square kilometre of the earth. Solar energy is utilized in two ways. A solar furnace contains thousands of mirrors to focus the sun rays.
In this way, solar heaters produce heat used in industry or houses. The heaters heat up water or air. Solar energy can also be used indirectly. Solar cells made up of panels of semiconductors (usually silicon) are used which when illuminated by sun-generated electricity. This kind of cells has frequently been used in space probe. They have not become popular in domestic used due to high cost.
- Wind Energy
Windmills can be used to the generation of electricity. Previously the windmills were used for grinding of grains. The rotating wings of the windmills can be attached to a magnet which gives an electric current with the rotation. Low power, high cost and uncertainties of weather had not made power generation through the wind popular.
- Geothermal Energy
Geothermal energy is the heat energy production inside the earth usually due to radioactivity. Geothermal electricity plant changes the geothermal energy into electricity. Hot water of springs is being used for power generation particularly in the USA, hot springs, however, are used as geysers for heating the houses.