Power Sources

Humanity has been inextricably linked with tangible sources of power (in one form or another) since the dawn of time. As technology evolves, the methods in which we obtain this type of power likewise change. We now live within an age that is defined by the efficient production of energy through various innovative methods.

So, where might civilisation be headed in the coming years? It is first necessary to appreciate power sources from a basic perspective before moving on to discuss current innovations as well as future trends.

What is the Technical Definition of a Power Source?

Let us begin by summarising a general power source definition. As the name suggests, a power source is any type of electrical or mechanical device that is capable of delivering an electrical load and/or a back-up power supply. This source of power must also address specific parameters that are ultimately determined by the destination device:[1]

  • Voltage
  • Current
  • Frequency

It can be argued that one of the most familiar power sources comes in the form of a battery. In this case, a battery power source will produce electrical energy through various internal chemical processes (regardless of the type of power source battery). There are nonetheless other power sources to appreciate.

Typical Examples of Power Sources

Now that we have developed a basic power source meaning, it is a good idea to examine some common ways in which energy is produced. Some of the major types of power sources are listed immediately below:[2]

  • Fossil fuels
  • Wind
  • Nuclear energy
  • Hydroelectricity
  • Photovoltaics (solar power)
  • Fuel cells

While each of these power supply sources are quite different in nature, the intention is always the same. The goal is to provide a continuous power supply to the consumer. Of course, some power sources are more practical than others.

What is the Most Efficient Power Source?

Another way to view a typical source of power definition is to determine how much energy can be produced at any given time. This can be accomplished manually through the formula P = VI (power equals voltage multiplied by current) or via an automatic power source calculator.[3]

However, it should be highlighted that any power source is only as valuable as its inherent efficiency. This is often the problem associated with traditional methods such as the burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity. Not only is energy wasted during the conversion process, but serious harm will be done to the environment. This is a trade-off which many governments are not willing to make. Other issues such as safety and sustainability are therefore crucial when searching for new power sources.

Power Sources: Safety and Sustainability

Many will argue that wind is the safest and most sustainable power source currently in existence. Others state that geothermal power represents the wave of the future. Solar energy is likewise promising due to growing consumer interest. But also fuel cells are increasingly becoming the focus of social interest. In other words, clean power sources will pave the way for efficiency, safety and reliability.[4]

The only issue here is that humanity is still reliant upon traditional power sources (such as coal and natural gas). It is currently estimated that these fuels are associated with more than 80 percent of global energy consumption. Thankfully, many governments are now beginning to promote "green" initiatives in order to mitigate adverse effects such as monopolies, regional conflicts over power source supplies and climate change.[5]

Conclusion – The Future of Power Sources

Clean sources of energy represent the wave of the future. These types of power sources are capable of producing electricity without harming the environment. Such approaches are often utilised within off grid power systems (power sources that do not rely upon mains electricity). The line of EFOY Pro and the EFOY Hydrogen fuel cells demonstrate just how far this technology has evolved in recent times. These clever fuel cells are able to produce an uninterruptible power supply by breaking down hydrogen (the simplest of elements) into its basic components.

Of course, this is only one example of how modern power sources should have a lasting impact upon civilisation well into the future. Although the majority of consumers take such methods for granted, the fact of the matter is that life would be nearly impossible without their presence. There is little doubt that the technology associated with this sector will continue to evolve in the coming years and decades.