There are mainly two types of sources of energy.
  • Conventional Sources of Energy (Non-Renewable Sources of Energy)
  • Non-conventional Sources of Energy (Renewable Sources of Energy).

1. CONVENTIONAL SOURCES OF ENERGY - These resources are finite and exhaustible. Once consumed, these sources cannot be replaced by others. Examples include coal, timber, petroleum, lignite, natural gas, fossil fuels, nuclear fuels etc.

The examples are
  • Fossil fuel
  • Nuclear energy
  • Hydro energy - Have you not seen the filling of fuel in automobiles? What are the fuels that are being used in automobiles? What type of sources of energy are they? Are they non-conventional? Fossil fuel is an invaluable source of energy produced due to chemical changes taking place in the absence of oxygen, in plants and animals that have been buried deep in the earth’s crust for many million years. Fossil fuels like coal, petroleum and natural gas are formed in this manner. These are conventional sources of energy. For example, energy from, Petroleum, natural gas, coal, nuclear energy etc.
  • THERMAL POWER - Thermal generation accounts for about 70% of power generation in India. Thermal energy generation is based on coal, furnace oil and natural gas. Steam cycle, Rankine cycle or sterling cycle can be used for energy production. Now clean coal technologies (with 10% ash content) have been used in thermal power plants on commercial scale.
  • NATIONAL THERMAL POWER CORPORATION (NTPC) It was incorporated in November 1975 as a public sector undertaking with the main objectives of planning, promoting and organizing integrated development of thermal power. Installed capacity of NTPC projects stands at 16000 MW.

 2NON-CONVENTIONAL SOURCES OF ENERGY - These sources are being continuously produced in nature and are not exhaustible. Examples include wood, geothermal energy, wind energy, tidal energy, nuclear fusion, gobar gas, biomass, solar energy etc.
The examples are:
  • Solar energy
  • Wind energy
  • Geothermal energy
  • Ocean energy such as tidal energy, wave energy
  • Biomass energy such as Gobar gas - It is evident that all energy resources based on fossil fuels has limitations in availability and will soon exhaust. Hence the long term option for energy supply lies only with non-conventional energy sources. These resources are in exhaustible for the next hundreds of thousands of years. 52 POWER PLANT ENGINEERING The sources which are perennial and give energy continuously and which do not deplete with use are the Non-conventional sources of energy. For example, energy from, solar energy, bio-energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, wave, tidal and OTEC.


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