Types of Energy ***

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A comprehensive illustrated guide to Energy types. Energy facts and information about different types of energies. Learn about the sources of energy

Energy is Ability to do work.

There are two types of energy Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy. Energy can be created in different forms such as heat, kinetic or mechanical energy, light, potential energy, electrical, or other forms. There are two types of energy - stored (potential) energy and working (kinetic) energy. For example, the food you eat contains chemical energy, and your body stores this energy until you release it when you work or play.

The energy we use every day is divided into two groups, renewable energy which is an energy source that can be used over and over again and non-renewable/ conventional is an energy source which we are using up and cannot recreate in a short period of time.

Different types of energy sources

There are 14 different types or sources of energy. The energy types can vary on so many different factors such storage types and different types of groups

Electric energy

Electrical energy is the energy carried by moving electrons in an electric conductor. It cannot be seen, but it is one of our most useful forms of energy because it is relatively easy to transmit and use. All matter consists of atoms and every atom contains one or more electrons, which are always moving.

Atomic energy

Kinetic energy

When an object is moving, it possess a energy and such energy is called kinetic energy. 

Light energy

Light is a form of energy which our sense of sight can detect.

Water energy

Sun energy

Gas energy 

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy is thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth.

Air energy

Wave energy

Sound energy

Hydro Energy

Who discovered energy?

Different people discovered different types of energy. One source of energy type is heat and it was a man by the name of James Prescott Joule 1818-1889 that discovered that heat was actually a source of energy.

The term ‘kinetic energy’ was first used by William Thomson who was a British mathematical physicist.

  • William John Macquorn Rankine discovered potential energy.
  • Chemical energy was founded by J.Willard Gibbs.
  • Nicola Tesla discovered radiant energy in 1893.
  • Enrico Fermi invented nuclear energy.

Laws for energy:

The three laws of thermodynamics:

The first law is called conservation of energy states that that the total amount of energy in the universe in constant. This means that all of the energy has to end up somewhere, either in the original form or a different form. We can use this to determine the amount of energy in a system, the amount lost as waste heat, and the efficiency of the system.

The second law states that the disorder in the universe always increases. For example after cleaning your room, it always has the tendency of getting messy again and this is a result of the second law. As the disorder in the universe increases, the energy is transformed into less usable forms therefore the efficiency of every process will always be less than 100%.

The third law of thermodynamics tells us that all molecular movement stops at a temperature we call absolute zero, or 0 Kelvin (-273oC). Since temperature is a measure of molecular movement, there can be no temperature lower than absolute zero. At this temperature, a perfect crystal has no disorder. When put together, these laws state that a concentrated energy supply must be used to accomplish useful work.

Sources of energy

Renewable energy resources include: Wind energy, Water energy, such as wave machines, tidal barrages and hydroelectric power, Geothermal energy, Solar energy

Biomass energy, for example energy released from wood There is a limited supply of non-renewable energy resources, which will eventually run out. They include: Fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas Nuclear fuels, such as uranium

How is energy stored

One way to store it is in the form of chemical energy in a battery. When connected in a circuit, energy stored in the battery is released to produce electricity. Energy can also be stored in many other ways.

Batteries, gasoline, natural gas, food, water towers, a wound up alarm clock, a Thermos flask with hot water and even pooh are all stores of energy. They can be transferred into other kinds of energy.