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Alternative energy systems

Alternative energy systems

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: Alternative energy systems


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Biofuels provided 2. Policies in more than 80 countries support biofuels demand. Since the s, Brazil has had an ethanol fuel program which has allowed the country to become the world's second largest producer of ethanol after the United States and the world's largest exporter.

Biojet is expected to be important for short-term reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from long-haul flights. High temperature geothermal energy is from thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. Thermal energy is the energy that determines the temperature of matter.

Earth's geothermal energy originates from the original formation of the planet and from radioactive decay of minerals in currently uncertain [] but possibly roughly equal [] proportions. The geothermal gradient , which is the difference in temperature between the core of the planet and its surface, drives a continuous conduction of thermal energy in the form of heat from the core to the surface.

The adjective geothermal originates from the Greek roots geo , meaning earth, and thermos , meaning heat. The heat that is used for geothermal energy can be from deep within the Earth, all the way down to Earth's core — 6, kilometres 4, mi down.

At the core, temperatures may reach over 5, °C 9, °F. Heat conducts from the core to the surrounding rock. Extremely high temperature and pressure cause some rock to melt, which is commonly known as magma.

Magma convects upward since it is lighter than the solid rock. This magma then heats rock and water in the crust, sometimes up to °C °F. Low temperature geothermal [52] refers to the use of the outer crust of the Earth as a thermal battery to facilitate renewable thermal energy for heating and cooling buildings, and other refrigeration and industrial uses.

In this form of geothermal, a geothermal heat pump and ground-coupled heat exchanger are used together to move heat energy into the Earth for cooling and out of the Earth for heating on a varying seasonal basis. Low-temperature geothermal generally referred to as "GHP" [ clarification needed ] is an increasingly important renewable technology because it both reduces total annual energy loads associated with heating and cooling, and it also flattens the electric demand curve eliminating the extreme summer and winter peak electric supply requirements.

Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, [] but has historically been limited to areas near tectonic plate boundaries.

Recent technological advances have expanded the range and size of viable resources, especially for applications such as home heating, opening a potential for widespread exploitation.

Geothermal wells release greenhouse gases trapped deep within the earth, but these emissions are usually much lower per energy unit than those of fossil fuels.

As a result, geothermal power has the potential to help mitigate global warming if widely deployed in place of fossil fuels. In , the United States led the world in geothermal electricity production with Global geothermal capacity in was 15 GW.

There are also other renewable energy technologies that are still under development, including cellulosic ethanol , hot-dry-rock geothermal power, and marine energy.

There are numerous organizations within the academic, federal, [ clarification needed ] and commercial sectors conducting large-scale advanced research in the field of renewable energy. This research spans several areas of focus across the renewable energy spectrum.

Most of the research is targeted at improving efficiency and increasing overall energy yields. Two of the most prominent of these labs are Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL , both of which are funded by the United States Department of Energy and supported by various corporate partners.

Enhanced geothermal systems EGS are a new type of geothermal power technology that does not require natural convective hydrothermal resources. The vast majority of geothermal energy within drilling reach is in dry and non-porous rock.

EGS and HDR technologies, such as hydrothermal geothermal, are expected to be baseload resources that produce power 24 hours a day like a fossil plant.

Distinct from hydrothermal, HDR and EGS may be feasible anywhere in the world, depending on the economic limits of drill depth. Good locations are over deep granite covered by a thick 3—5 km or 1. The largest EGS project in the world is a 25 megawatt demonstration plant currently being developed in the Cooper Basin, Australia.

The Cooper Basin has the potential to generate 5,—10, MW. Marine energy also sometimes referred to as ocean energy is the energy carried by ocean waves , tides , salinity , and ocean temperature differences.

The movement of water in the world's oceans creates a vast store of kinetic energy , or energy in motion. This energy can be harnessed to generate electricity to power homes, transport and industries. The term marine energy encompasses wave power — power from surface waves, marine current power - power from marine hydrokinetic streams e.

Reverse electrodialysis RED is a technology for generating electricity by mixing fresh river water and salty sea water in large power cells designed for this purpose; as of , it is being tested at a small scale 50 kW.

Offshore wind power is not a form of marine energy, as wind power is derived from the wind , even if the wind turbines are placed over water. The oceans have a tremendous amount of energy and are close to many if not most concentrated populations.

Ocean energy has the potential of providing a substantial amount of new renewable energy around the world. Passive daytime radiative cooling PDRC uses the coldness of outer space as a renewable energy source to achieve daytime cooling that can be used in many applications, [] [] [] such as indoor space cooling , [] [] outdoor urban heat island mitigation, [] [] and solar cell efficiency.

to the scientific community in Earth emits roughly 10 17 W of infrared thermal radiation that flows toward the cold outer space. Solar energy hits the surface and atmosphere of the earth and produces heat.

Using various theorized devices like emissive energy harvester EEH or thermoradiative diode, this energy flow can be converted into electricity. In theory, this technology can be used during nighttime.

Producing liquid fuels from oil-rich fat-rich varieties of algae is an ongoing research topic. Various microalgae grown in open or closed systems are being tried including some systems that can be set up in brownfield and desert lands.

With seawater uranium extraction currently too expensive to be economical , there is enough fuel for breeder reactors to satisfy the world's energy needs for 5 billion years at 's total energy consumption rate, thus making nuclear energy effectively a renewable energy.

Artificial photosynthesis uses techniques including nanotechnology to store solar electromagnetic energy in chemical bonds by splitting water to produce hydrogen and then using carbon dioxide to make methanol. Renewable energy production from some sources such as wind and solar is more variable and more geographically spread than technology based on fossil fuels and nuclear.

While integrating it into the wider energy system is feasible, it does lead to some additional challenges such as increased production volatility and decreased system inertia. Sector coupling of the power generation sector with other sectors may increase flexibility: for example the transport sector can be coupled by charging electric vehicles and sending electricity from vehicle to grid.

Electrical energy storage is a collection of methods used to store electrical energy. Electrical energy is stored during times when production especially from intermittent sources such as wind power , tidal power , solar power exceeds consumption, and returned to the grid when production falls below consumption.

Most new renewables are solar, followed by wind then hydro then bioenergy. The results of a recent review of the literature concluded that as greenhouse gas GHG emitters begin to be held liable for damages resulting from GHG emissions resulting in climate change, a high value for liability mitigation would provide powerful incentives for deployment of renewable energy technologies.

A December report by the IEA forecasts that over , renewables are seen growing by almost 2 GW in its main forecast, equal to the entire installed power capacity of China in In June IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said that countries should invest more in renewables to "ease the pressure on consumers from high fossil fuel prices, make our energy systems more secure, and get the world on track to reach our climate goals.

China's five year plan to includes increasing direct heating by renewables such as geothermal and solar thermal. REPowerEU , the EU plan to escape dependence on fossil Russian gas , is expected to call for much more green hydrogen.

After a transitional period, [] renewable energy production is expected to make up most of the world's energy production. In , the risk management firm, DNV GL , forecasts that the world's primary energy mix will be split equally between fossil and non-fossil sources by In July , WWF and the World Resources Institute convened a discussion among a number of major US companies who had declared their intention to increase their use of renewable energy.

These discussions identified a number of "principles" which companies seeking greater access to renewable energy considered important market deliverables. These principles included choice between suppliers and between products , cost competitiveness, longer term fixed price supplies, access to third-party financing vehicles, and collaboration.

UK statistics released in September noted that "the proportion of demand met from renewables varies from a low of 3. In some locations, individual households can opt to purchase renewable energy through a consumer green energy program.

Renewable energy in developing countries is an increasingly used alternative to fossil fuel energy, as these countries scale up their energy supplies and address energy poverty.

Renewable energy technology was once seen as unaffordable for developing countries. In Kenya, the Olkaria V Geothermal Power Station is one of the largest in the world.

Policies to support renewable energy have been vital in their expansion. Where Europe dominated in establishing energy policy in the early s, most countries around the world now have some form of energy policy. The International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA is an intergovernmental organization for promoting the adoption of renewable energy worldwide.

It aims to provide concrete policy advice and facilitate capacity building and technology transfer. IRENA was formed in , with 75 countries signing the charter of IRENA. The Paris Agreement on climate change motivated many countries to develop or improve renewable energy policies. Many national, state and local governments have created green banks.

A green bank is a quasi-public financial institution that uses public capital to leverage private investment in clean energy technologies. Climate neutrality by the year is the main goal of the European Green Deal. Shifting the total global primary energy supply to renewable sources requires a transition of the energy system , since most of today's energy is derived from non-renewable fossil fuels.

Research into this topic is fairly new, with very few studies published before , but has gained increasing attention in recent years.

Renewable electricity generation by wind and solar is variable. The market for renewable energy technologies has continued to grow. Climate change concerns and increasing in green jobs , coupled with high oil prices, peak oil , oil wars, oil spills , promotion of electric vehicles and renewable electricity, nuclear disasters and increasing government support, are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization.

The International Energy Agency has stated that deployment of renewable technologies usually increases the diversity of electricity sources and, through local generation, contributes to the flexibility of the system and its resistance to central shocks.

Solar power plants may compete with arable land , [] [] while on-shore wind farms face opposition due to aesthetic concerns and noise, which is impacting both humans and wildlife.

However, residents in other areas have been more positive. According to a town councilor, the overwhelming majority of locals believe that the Ardrossan Wind Farm in Scotland has enhanced the area.

A UK Government document states that "projects are generally more likely to succeed if they have broad public support and the consent of local communities.

This means giving communities both a say and a stake". Whether nuclear power should be considered a form of renewable energy is an ongoing subject of debate.

Statutory definitions of renewable energy usually exclude many present nuclear energy technologies, with the notable exception of the state of Utah. The most common fuel used in conventional nuclear fission power stations , uranium is "non-renewable" according to the Energy Information Administration , the organization however is silent on the recycled MOX fuel.

From around onwards, the geopolitical impact of the growing use of renewable energy has been discussed. The GeGaLo index of geopolitical gains and losses assesses how the geopolitical position of countries may change if the world fully transitions to renewable energy resources.

Former fossil fuels exporters are expected to lose power, while the positions of former fossil fuel importers and countries rich in renewable energy resources is expected to strengthen. Transitions to renewable energy have many geopolitical implications such as the potential of revenue losses leading to political instability in insufficiently prepared fossil-fuel-exporting economies, albeit it is unclear whether the transition will increase or reduce conflict overall.

In particular, a study hypothesizes that a "configuration emerges in which fossil fuel importers are better off decarbonizing, competitive fossil fuel exporters are better off flooding markets and uncompetitive fossil fuel producers—rather than benefitting from 'free-riding'—suffer from their exposure to stranded assets and lack of investment in decarbonization technologies".

A study found that transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy systems reduces risks from mining, trade and political dependence because renewable energy systems don't need fuel — they depend on trade only for the acquisition of materials and components during construction.

Nations rich in solar and wind energy could become major energy exporters. Trade in hydrogen could fundamentally redraw the geography of the global energy trade, and international governance and investments that seek to scale up the hydrogen economy could reduce "the risk of market fragmentation, carbon lock-in, and intensified geo-economic rivalry".

Given the limitations of using solely electricity, clean hydrogen has significant potential in a number of industries. The production of renewable energy technologies requires rare-earth elements with new supply chains.

In October , European Commissioner for Climate Action Frans Timmermans suggested "the best answer" to the global energy crisis is "to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. According to Von der Leyen, "The answer has to do with diversifying our suppliers and, crucially, with speeding up the transition to clean energy.

The renewable energy transition requires increased extraction of certain metals and minerals. The International Energy Agency does not recognise shortages of resources but states that supply could struggle to keep pace with the world's climate ambitions.

Electric vehicles EV and battery storage are expected to cause the most demand. Wind farms and solar PV are less consuming. The extension of electrical grids requires large amounts of copper and aluminium.

The IEA recommends to scale up recycling. The demand for lithium by is expected to grow by the factor of Graphite and nickel exploration is predicted to grow about fold.

For each of the most relevant minerals and metals, a significant share of resources are concentrated in only one country: copper in Chile , nickel in Indonesia , rare earths in China , cobalt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo DRC , and lithium in Australia.

China dominates processing of them all. A controversial approach is deep sea mining. Minerals can be collected from new sources like polymetallic nodules lying on the seabed , [] but this could damage biodiversity. Moving to modern renewable energy has very large health benefits due to reducing air pollution from fossil fuels.

Renewable sources other than biomass such as wind power , photovoltaics , and hydroelectricity have the advantage of being able to conserve water, lower pollution [] and reduce CO 2 emissions.

Installations used to produce wind, solar and hydropower are an increasing threat to key conservation areas, with facilities built in areas set aside for nature conservation and other environmentally sensitive areas.

They are often much larger than fossil fuel power plants, needing areas of land up to 10 times greater than coal or gas to produce equivalent energy amounts. The authors' team emphasized that their work should not be interpreted as anti-renewables because renewable energy is crucial for reducing carbon emissions.

The key is ensuring that renewable energy facilities are built in places where they do not damage biodiversity. The transition to renewable energy depends on non-renewable resources, such as mined metals. In scientists published a world map of areas that contain renewable energy materials as well as estimations of their overlaps with "Key Biodiversity Areas", "Remaining Wilderness" and " Protected Areas ".

The authors assessed that careful strategic planning is needed. Prior to the development of coal in the mid 19th century, nearly all energy used was renewable. The oldest known use of renewable energy, in the form of traditional biomass to fuel fires , dates from more than a million years ago.

The use of biomass for fire did not become commonplace until many hundreds of thousands of years later. This practice can be traced back some years, to ships in the Persian Gulf and on the Nile. In , Werner Siemens , commenting on the discovery of the photovoltaic effect in the solid state, wrote:.

In conclusion, I would say that however great the scientific importance of this discovery may be, its practical value will be no less obvious when we reflect that the supply of solar energy is both without limit and without cost, and that it will continue to pour down upon us for countless ages after all the coal deposits of the earth have been exhausted and forgotten.

Max Weber mentioned the end of fossil fuel in the concluding paragraphs of his Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism , published in The importance of solar energy was recognized in a Scientific American article: "in the far distant future, natural fuels having been exhausted [solar power] will remain as the only means of existence of the human race".

The theory of peak oil was published in Solar had long been used for heating and cooling, but solar panels were too costly to build solar farms until New government spending, regulation and policies helped the industry weather the economic crisis better than many other sectors.

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Download as PDF Printable version. In other projects. Wikimedia Commons Wikiquote Wikiversity. Energy collected from renewable resources. For the journal, see Renewable Energy journal. Examples of renewable energy options. Clockwise from top left: concentrated solar power with molten salt heat storage in Spain; wind energy in South Africa; Biomass plant in Scotland; The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River in China.

Energy conservation. Arcology Building insulation Cogeneration Eco hotel Efficient energy use Energy storage Environmental planning Environmental technology Fossil fuel phase-out Green building Green building and wood Green retrofit Heat pump List of low-energy building techniques Low-energy house Microgeneration Sustainable architecture Sustainable city Sustainable habitat Thermal energy storage Tropical green building Zero-energy building Zero heating building.

Renewable energy. Biofuel Sustainable biofuel Biogas Biomass Marine energy Tidal Hydropower Hydroelectricity Solar Geothermal Wave Wind Renewable heat Carbon-neutral fuel Renewable energy transition.

Sustainable transport. Green vehicle Solar vehicle Electric vehicle Electric bicycle Wind-powered vehicle Hybrid vehicle Plug-in hybrid Human—electric hybrid vehicle Twike Human-powered transport Walking Roller skating Skateboarding Human-powered land vehicle Bicycle Tricycle Quadracycle Kick scooter Cycle rickshaw Velomobile Human-powered helicopter Human-powered hydrofoil Human-powered watercraft Personal transporter Rail transport Tram Rapid transit Personal rapid transit.

See also: Lists of renewable energy topics. See also: Sustainable energy. Main articles: Renewable energy § Market and industry trends , and Renewable energy commercialization. Main articles: Solar energy , Solar power , and Outline of solar energy. This section needs to be updated.

Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. April Main articles: Growth of photovoltaics , Solar power by country , and List of photovoltaic power stations.

This section is an excerpt from Solar thermal energy. Roof-mounted close-coupled thermosiphon solar water heater.

The first three units of Solnova in the foreground, with the two towers of the PS10 and PS20 solar power stations in the background.

The largest facilities are located in the American Mojave Desert of California and Nevada. These plants employ a variety of different technologies.

The largest examples include, Ouarzazate Solar Power Station in Morocco MW , Ivanpah Solar Power Facility MW , Solar Energy Generating Systems installation MW , and Crescent Dunes MW. Spain is the other major developer of solar thermal power plants.

The largest examples include, Solnova Solar Power Station MW , the Andasol solar power station MW , and Extresol Solar Power Station MW. Main articles: Wind power and Wind power by country. Main articles: Hydroelectricity and Hydropower. Main article: Bioenergy.

Further information: Biomass energy § Environmental impacts. Sugarcane plantation to produce ethanol in Brazil. A CHP power station using wood to supply 30, households in France.

Main article: Biofuel. See also: Ethanol fuel , Sustainable biofuel , and Issues relating to biofuels. Main articles: Geothermal energy , Geothermal power , Renewable thermal energy , and Geothermal energy in the United States.

Main article: Enhanced geothermal systems. See also: Green hydrogen , White hydrogen , Hydrogen economy , and Hydrogen fuel cell power plant. Main article: Marine energy. Main article: Passive daytime radiative cooling. Main article: Algae fuels. Main article: Artificial photosynthesis.

Main article: Variable renewable energy. Main articles: Energy storage and Grid energy storage. Further information: Self-powered dynamic systems.

Main article: Renewable energy commercialization. Investment and sources. Investment: Companies, governments and households have committed increasing amounts to decarbonization, including renewable energy solar, wind , electric vehicles and associated charging infrastructure, energy storage, energy-efficient heating systems, carbon capture and storage, and hydrogen.

Clean energy investment has benefited from post-pandemic economic recovery, a global energy crisis involving high fossil fuel prices, and growing policy support across various nations. The countries most reliant on fossil fuels for electricity vary widely on how great a portion of that electricity is generated from renewables, leaving wide variation in renewables' growth potential.

Levelized cost: With increasingly widespread implementation of renewable energy sources, costs have declined, most notably for energy generated by solar panels.

See also: Energy transition. This section is an excerpt from Renewable energy in developing countries. Shop selling PV panels in Ouagadougou , Burkina Faso Solar cookers use sunlight as energy source for outdoor cooking. By developing such energy sources developing countries can reduce their dependence on oil and natural gas, creating energy portfolios that are less vulnerable to price rises.

In many circumstances, these investments can be less expensive than fossil fuel energy systems. Main articles: Renewable energy debate , Green job , and Intermittent power source.

Further information: Climate change mitigation § Overviews, strategies and comparisons of measures. Most respondents to a climate survey conducted in by the European Investment Bank say countries should back renewable energy to fight climate change. The same survey a year later shows that renewable energy is considered an investment priority in the European Union, China and the United States [].

This section is an excerpt from Nuclear power proposed as renewable energy. See also: Russia in the European energy sector. Further information: Rare-earth element § Environmental considerations.

See also: Environmental footprint of electric cars. Distributed generation — Decentralised electricity generation Efficient energy use — Energy efficiency Energy harvesting — Collecting energy from external sources Energy security — National security considerations of energy availability Energy storage — Captured energy for later usage Energy poverty — Lack of access to energy services such as electricity and heating Fuel efficiency — Form of thermal efficiency Fossil fuel phase-out — Gradual reduction of the use and production of fossil fuels Mass production in renewable energy sector — High volume production of standardized products Energy transition — Significant structural change in an energy system Thermal energy storage — Technologies to store thermal energy List of countries by renewable electricity production List of renewable energy topics by country and territory Renewable heat — Application of renewable energy.

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Main navigation At the same time, policies need to adapt continuously to changing market conditions to achieve greater cost-competitiveness and to improve the integration of renewables into the energy system. Shop selling PV panels in Ouagadougou , Burkina Faso Solar cookers use sunlight as energy source for outdoor cooking. Photovoltaic effect Solar cell Polymer solar cell Nanocrystal solar cell Photovoltaic module solar panel Photovoltaic array and systems Photovoltaic power station Floating solar. Repowering Driven by a vision to power the future of clean energy, RES can uncover opportunities to increase the lifespan of your renewable assets. Democratic Republic of the Congo Egypt Ethiopia Kenya Morocco Nigeria Seychelles South Africa. biomass , biofuel. Technologies Underpinned by innovation and a drive to make the world a better place.
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In addition, you may want to discuss your intentions with your neighbors to avoid any future public objections. Some people connect their systems to the grid and use them to reduce the amount of conventional power supplied to them through the grid.

A grid-connected system allows you to sell any excess power you produce back to your power provider. For grid-connected systems, aside from the major small renewable energy system components, you will need to purchase some additional equipment called " balance-of-system " to safely transmit electricity to your loads and comply with your power provider's grid-connection requirements.

This equipment may include power conditioning equipment, safety equipment, and meters and instrumentation. Other people, especially those in remote areas, use the electricity from their systems in place of electricity supplied to them by power providers i.

These are called stand-alone off-grid systems. For stand-alone systems, balance-of-system components include batteries and a charge controller in addition to power conditioning equipment, safety equipment, and meters and instrumentation.

To begin choosing the right small renewable electric system for your home, you will need a basic understanding of how each technology works, as well as:. Remember that all of these technologies can be used by themselves, combined, or used in conjunction with a fossil fuel system. When these technologies are combined or used with a fossil fuel generator, the result is a hybrid system.

Technology options include solar, wind, microhydropower, and hybrid electric systems solar and wind. Subscribe to receive updates from Energy Saver, including new blogs, updated content, and seasonal energy saving tips for consumers and homeowners.

A renewable energy system can be used to supply some or all of your electricity needs, using technologies like: Small solar electric systems Small wind electric systems Microhydropower systems Small hybrid electric systems solar and wind.

Analyzing Your Electricity Loads. A thorough examination of your electricity needs helps you determine the following: The size and therefore, cost of the system you will need How your energy needs fluctuate throughout the day and over the year Measures you can take to reduce your electricity use.

To determine your total electricity consumption: Multiply the wattage of each appliance by the number of hours it is used each day be sure to take seasonal variations into account. Some appliances do not give the wattage, so you may have to calculate the wattage by multiplying the amperes times the volts.

Generally, power use data can be found on a sticker, metal plate, or cord attached to the appliance. Record the time s of day the load runs for all selectable loads. Local Codes and Requirements for Small Renewable Energy Systems. Here are some of the state and community requirements you may encounter: Building codes Easements Local covenants and ordinances Technology-specific requirements Building codes.

Local Covenants and Ordinances. Grid-Connected or Stand-Alone System. Choosing the Right Renewable Energy Technology. To begin choosing the right small renewable electric system for your home, you will need a basic understanding of how each technology works, as well as: Renewable energy resource availability Economics and costs System siting System sizing Codes and regulations Installation and maintenance considerations.

Small solar electric systems -- A small solar electric or photovoltaic system can be a reliable and pollution-free producer of electricity for your home or office. Small photovoltaics systems also provide a cost-effective power supply in locations where it is expensive or impossible to send electricity through conventional power lines.

Small wind electric systems -- Small wind electric systems are one of the most cost-effective home-based renewable energy systems. They can also be used for a variety of other applications, including water pumping on farms and ranches.

Microhydropower systems -- Microhydropower systems usually generate up to kilowatts of electricity, though a kilowatt system can generally provide enough power for a large home, small resort, or a hobby farm. Subscribe to Energy Saver Updates.

Learn More Links Planning for Home Renewable Energy Systems. Federal tax credits for small solar and wind Standby power - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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