# Power generation from low heat sources

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## Abstract

Since the beginning of the 19th century the production and demand of electricity have increased exponentially, becoming the prime mover of today’s economy and society. Among the different power generation processes, we can distinguish the conversion from thermal energy into mechanical energy and electricity (e.g. solar thermal systems, geothermal), the direct conversion between solar radiation and electricity (e.g. photovoltaic), the power generation from mechanical work (e.g. wind, hydro, tidal), the direct conversion between fuels chemical energy and electricity (e.g. fuel cells), and the conversion of the chemical energy of fuels and nuclear energy into heat and mechanical work to produce power (e.g. fossil fuel power plants, nuclear plants). These two last energy conversions are the most used all around the world for power generation and in 2012 represented 78.3% of the global electricity production (Mcginn et al. 2013). Because of this distribution of the global power production, fossil fuel reserves are depleting while the greenhouse gases emissions derived from their use are intensifying the global warming effect.
Original language English Advances in Energy - Research and Development ORIC Publications 2014 49-82 978-0-9895590-1-0 Published - 2014 Yes