What is energy?
Energy is the reason why cars drive, lights burn and houses are heated. Energy is a crucial part of our lives and takes on many forms. The versatility of energy simultaneously makes it hard to provide a clear and complete definition of it. According to the most common definitions energy is the reason why things can work or why changes can be set in motion. The exact way this process works differs for each individual type of energy.
Since all forms of energy can be measured in joules it is possible to compare forms and sources of energy. One joule equals the amount of energy required to move an object by one meter with a force of one newton. One joule also equals one watt per second. The energy industry works with kilowatt-hour, which is a power of 1000 watt for the duration of one hour. One kilowatt-hour thus equals 3600 kilojoules.
Which energy sources are there?
According to physics energy cannot be created or destroyed. It is only possible to convert one form of energy into another. Examples include the conversion of diesel into electricity in a genset or into movement in a car. In other words, the conversion of chemical energy into electrical energy or kinetic energy, respectively. This article further elaborates on the processes that generate electrical energy.
Generating a certain type of energy starts with an energy source. Examples of energy sources include fossil sources such as crude oil, natural gas and coal, and renewable sources such as biomass, hydrogen, wind, water power, geothermal heat and sunlight. Each of these energy sources can release its energy under the right circumstances, which can then be converted into a different type of energy. In a windmill the wind causes the blades to rotate. This kinetic energy can then be converted into electrical energy, which can then be used to power households and businesses.
Electrical energy and mobile power solutions
The most conventional way to acquire electricity is through the grid. The grid’s power supply comes from generators that typically generate an alternating current of 20,000 volt. A transformator then converts this into a lower current suitable for practical use. This electrical energy can be obtained from various energy sources, such as the aforementioned wind, natural gas, coal, sunlight and water power.
However, the grid cannot always meet the power demand, for example when an application requires more power than the grid can provide or when there is no grid connection on the project site to begin with. A mobile power solution is the most common choice for these situations. Such a solution consists of systems that can generate and/or provide energy completely independent of the grid. Gensets are commonly used for this purpose, but options also include a mobile solar installation or an energy storage system.
The energy carrier diesel is brought to combustion in the combustion engine of a diesel generator, which releases the diesel’s stored chemical energy. The engine then converts this energy into kinetic energy, which is then converted into electrical energy by another part of the genset: the generator. As a result it is possible to execute construction projects in areas without a grid connection or to meet the high power demand of certain parts of an event. Energy solutions independent of the grid are also often used for setting up backup power systems. Various locations, including data centers and emergency services, must have access to sufficient power at all times, even during grid failure. Backup generators are the most conventional solution.
The answer to your energy query
In short, energy comes in many different forms and is an essential part of our society, its applications ranging from construction to transport and from events to ensuring the continuity of essential processes. For over eighty years Bredenoord has specialized in providing energy for all situations where the grid cannot (fully) meet the power demand. Would you like to discuss the potential energy solutions for your project? Feel free to contact our experts for a non-committal advice.