Forms of energy and their utilities
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What are the various kinds of energy forms?
There are many different types of energy, all of which fall into two primary forms – kinetic and potential. Energy can be transformed from one type to another, but it can never be destroyed or created. These are the two basic forms of energy. The different types of energy include thermal energy, radiant energy, chemical energy, nuclear energy, electrical energy, kinetic energy, acoustic energy, elastic energy, and gravitational energy.
Thermal or heat energy
Thermal energy (also known as heat energy) is produced when a rise in temperature causes atoms and molecules to move faster and collide with each other. The energy that comes from the temperature of the heated material is called thermal energy. The particles and atoms that make up matter move all the time. When a substance heats up, the rise in temperature causes these particles to move faster and collide with each other. Thermal energy is the energy that comes from the heated material. The higher the temperature of the substance, the more motion of its particles, and the greater its thermal energy.
- Financial costs. A major advantage of thermal power is that the generation costs are very low. No fuel is required to generate power, and the minimum energy required to pump water to the Earth’s surface can be obtained from total energy productivity.
- Environmental impact. Environmental activists value thermal energy because it is completely renewable, uses no fuel to produce energy and has virtually no emissions. It also helps reduce global warming and pollution and requires much less space than a coal mine or oil field
- Job creation. Thermal power facilities create a number of jobs for local communities. Researchers, scientists and drilling workers are among the professionals needed for safe and efficient operations.
- Long-term production. In areas with long-term steam production, thermal plants can thrive and produce many megawatts of clean, renewable energy. In these scenarios, factories quickly recover upfront costs.
Nuclear energy comes from the nucleus of atoms. Energy is released by nuclear fusion (the nuclei are fused together) or nuclear fission (the nuclei are split). Nuclear plants use the nuclear fission of a radioactive element called uranium to generate electricity. Atoms – the particles that make up every body in the universe – are made of neutrons, protons, and electrons. It contains a nucleus, which is where nuclear energy comes from. Nuclear energy is released from the atom through:
- Nuclear fusion, when the nuclei of atoms fuse or fuse together. This is how the sun produces energy.
- Nuclear fission, when the nuclei of atoms split apart. This is the method that nuclear plants use to generate electricity. The nucleus of a uranium atom is bombarded by a neutron, causing it to split into two atoms
At the same time, energy is released in the form of heat and radiation As a result of the fission reaction, more neutrons are released. Then these neutrons begin bombarding other uranium atoms, so the process continues to repeat itself. This is called the chain reaction. Nuclear energy comes from the fusion or division of the nucleus of atoms. In nuclear power plants, the radioactive element uranium undergoes nuclear fission to produce electricity.
- Great power capacity. Upon complete combustion, 1 kg of uranium enriched up to 4% (used in nuclear fuel) releases energy equivalent to that obtained as a result of burning about 100 tons of high-quality coal or 60 tons of oil.
- Reusable. Fissile material (uranium-235) is not completely burned in nuclear fuel and can be reused after regeneration (unlike the combustion of ash and fossil fuels). In the future, a full transition to a closed fuel cycle is possible.
- Economic growth. Building nuclear power plants provides economic growth and creates new jobs. One job in nuclear power plant construction creates 10-15 jobs in related sectors. The development of nuclear energy contributes to the growth of research and national intellectual potential.
Solar energy comes from the sun and can be captured using various technologies, especially solar panels The “photoelectric effect” is the mechanism by which silicon solar panels harness the sun’s energy and generate electricity. Solar energy is the most abundant source of energy on Earth. It can be captured and used in a number of ways, and as a source of renewable energy, it is an important part of a clean energy future. Deep in the sun’s core, nuclear fusion reactions produce massive amounts of energy that is radiated out from the sun’s surface into space in the form of light and heat.
- Renewable energy source. Of all the benefits of solar panels, the most important thing is that solar energy is truly a renewable energy source that can be harnessed in all regions of the world and is available every day. We cannot run out of solar energy, unlike some other energy sources.
- Reduces your electricity bills. Since you will meet some of your energy needs with the electricity your solar system generates, your energy bills will be reduced. The amount you will save on your bill depends on the size of the solar system, electricity or heat use.
- Low maintenance costs. Solar systems generally do not require much maintenance. You only need to keep them relatively clean, so cleaning them a few times a year will do the trick.
Chemical energy is the energy stored in bonds of chemical compounds, such as atoms and molecules. This energy is released when a chemical reaction occurs. Usually, once chemical energy is released from a substance, that substance transforms into an entirely new substance. When a chemical reaction occurs, the stored chemical energy is released. Heat is often produced as a by-product of a chemical reaction – this is called an exothermic reaction. Chemical energy is the most widely used type of energy in the world, as it is essential to the existence of humans and the natural world. The food we eat contains stored chemical energy. When the bonds between the atoms in food decompose or break, a chemical reaction takes place, and new compounds are created. The energy produced by this reaction keeps us warm, helps us move around, and allows us to grow. Different foods store different amounts of energy.
- Available locally. One of the most abundant fuel sources around the world because almost any combustible component can be used to provide chemical energy.
- Energy storage. Chemical energy can be easily stored for later use and it can also be easily accessed as needed.
- Effective. Chemical energy can be harnessed quickly as long as the right amount of oxygen is present and combustion is done effectively. Therefore, to make the most of chemical energy, it is important to have a system that supports optimal combustion.
Electrical energy is caused by the movement of electrical charges called electrons. The faster the charges move, the more electrical energy they carry. Since the charges that cause energy to move, electrical energy is a form of kinetic energy. The amount of energy depends on the speed of the charges – the faster the charges, the more electrical energy they carry.
- Multiple sources. It is also possible to generate electricity by using heat from below the Earth’s surface to produce steam that drives turbines. People also generate electricity from biomass, which is a material from sources such as wood, fuel crops and agricultural waste.
- Locally available. One of the most abundant fuel sources around the world because electricity is present in all the corners of the world today.
- Environmental impact. Environmental activists value electrical energy because it is renewable, uses no fuel to produce energy and has virtually no emissions. It also helps pollution and requires much less space than a coal mine or an oil field.