Technological developments in recent years have led to decrease in OPEX cost of renewable energy although their CAPEX cost is higher in comparison to conventional power plants. Renewable energy plants such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc. are being set up rapidly across the globe as per techno-commercial feasibility. A new paradigm of distributed power generation that is less dependent on fossil-fuel resources must be expanded, in order to save the planet.
Why should we study Electrical Engineering?
Given the increasing use of sustainable energy solutions, the demand for sustainable energy engineers will increase in the coming years. In order to understand the theories behind this technology and be market ready students will have to be graduate in Electrical Engineering. This graduate program will equip students with skills and insights in technology, leadership, industrial challenges, innovation and entrepreneurship in the energy field.
Various research and development institutes are working hard towards obtaining better and improved ways to obtain, store and use electrical energy. There have been various advances in this field of engineering. Some of the trendiest developing areas has been mentioned below:
Conventional sources of energy such as coal, oil, natural gas are used as fuel for last few centuries. Fossil fuels comprises of natural matter, such as dead animals and plants and takes millions of years to be produced under different phenomenon.
Technological developments in recent years have led to decrease in operational cost of renewable energy. Renewable energy plants such as solar, wind, geothermal, etc. are being set up rapidly across the globe to overcome many disadvantages of using fossil fuel like global warming, pollution. A new paradigm of distributed power generation that is less dependent on fossil-fuel resources must be expanded, in order to save the planet.
As per the data of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India is now globally 5th in overall installed renewable energy capacity. The government is aiming to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. India has achieved a cumulative installed renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro) of 92.54 GW.
India has one of the highest rates of growth for renewable energy in the world. As per Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020 report, during the period 2014-2019, renewable energy programs in India attracted an investment of US$ 64.2 billion (Rs 4.7 lakh crore).
Energy storage system
Renewable energy like wind, tidal and solar power are excellent sources of sustainable energy. But, they are not constant source. Therefore, we have to do our best to save energy from the wind, the sun, or any other renewable sources for later use. Energy storage systems provide a wide area of technological approaches for managing our power supply in order to create a more resilient energy infrastructure and bring cost savings to utilities and consumers.
To meet this demand, electrical engineers all around the world are working towards better batteries and energy storage. Companies like Tesla, Eos and Vivint Solar are some to keep an eye on for the latest innovations.
Wireless Power Transfer
Wireless power transfer (WPT), in its general term, has been around us for decades in applications. Most of these applications transfer low amounts of power, in the range of microwatts to milliwatts, for data transfer.
For higher-power applications, from few watts to several kilowatts, over moderate distances, the WPT has recently been the focus of the industrial developments. The most common method of high power WPT is through inductive coupling that was invented by Nikola Tesla more than a century ago. The recent developments in semiconductor industry for high frequency and high-power applications have paved the path for high-power inductive WPT improvements. Inductive WPT offers several benefits over the wired connection and is applied in numerous applications such as automotive industry, biomedical science, wearable technology etc.
Wireless Wearable Tech
At an Apple event, Tim Cook shared a couple of videos he had received from several apple watch users. These customers appreciated how the apple watch saved their lives by detecting their health conditions and encouraged them to visit a doctor.
Electrical-shock is an ever-present risk that comes with the job of an electrical engineer. There are devices out there that can reduce this risk. For example, one wearable device has been developed to help prevent electrical contact injuries. It consists of two electrical bracelets that the electrician wears and detects energized equipment that alerts the user of the danger. The bracelets identify information which the mobile app collects for the user to review.
Another example of wearable technology is Solar Power smart boots, which work to improve efficiency and safety for the user. The boots have sensors that measure user fatigue, provide alerts of unsafe environmental conditions, and can increase workflow transparency. These wearable devices are changing the safety and access to information in the electrical industry and creating better working environments. Wearable devices are just a small portion of tools out there that can assist you during your next job.
An electric vehicle (EV) operates on an electric motor, instead of internal-combustion engine that generates power by burning a mix of fuel and gases. Therefore, such as vehicle is seen as a possible replacement for current-generation automobile, in order to address the issue of rising pollution, global warming, depleting natural resources, etc.
Fuelling with electricity offers many advantages which are not available in conventional internal combustion engine vehicles.
- Because electric motors react quickly, EVs are very responsive and have very good torque.
- Recharging an electric car is much more affordable in the long run as compared to refuelling a car.
- Electric vehicle requires less maintenance as compared to a fuelled car as IC engines comprises of various moving parts which requires frequent maintenance.
Along with so many advantages, electric vehicle also possesses many disadvantages. The disadvantages are listed below:
- If you are driving for a long distance, then finding a charging station may become a problem.
- Recharging an electric vehicle takes much longer time, especially if the battery is fully depleted whereas adding fuel to a fuel tank doesn’t take much longer than five minutes.
- The driving range of an electric car ranges from 100 miles to 400 depending on the type of car, which is much less compared to fuelled vehicle.
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