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Encyclopedia > Energy conversion

In physics and engineering, energy conversion is any process of converting energy from one form to another. Energy found in fossil fuels, solar radiation, or nuclear fuels needs to be converted into other energy forms such as electrical, propulsive, or heating to be useful. Often, machines are used to convert energy from one form to another. The efficiency of a machine characterizes how well (how efficiently) it can perform such a convesion. Physics (from the Greek, (phúsis), nature and (phusiké), knowledge of nature) is the science concerned with the discovery and understanding of the fundamental laws which govern matter, energy, space and time. ... Engineering is the application of scientific and mathematical principles to develop economical solutions to technical problems, creating products, facilities, and structures that are useful to people. ... Wind turbines A machine is any mechanical or organic device that transmits or modifies energy to perform or assist in the performance of tasks. ...


Energy may be converted so that it may be used by other machines, or else to provide some service to society (such as heat, light, or motion). For example, an internal combustion engine converts the potential chemical energy in gasoline and oxygen into the propulsive energy that moves a vehicle. A solar cell converts solar radiation into electrical energy that can then be used to light a bulb or power a computer. The generic name for a device which converts energy from one form to another is transducer A colorized automobile engine The internal combustion engine is a heat engine in which the burning of a fuel occurs in a confined space called a combustion chamber. ... A solar cell, made from a monocrystalline silicon wafer A solar cell (or a photovoltaic cell) is a semiconductor device that converts photons from the sun (solar light) into electricity. ... A transducer is a device, usually electrical or electronic, that converts one type of energy to another. ...


Example heat engines

The steam engine illustrates the energy conversion process. In a steam engine, burning coal heats water (the working fluid), which expands as a gas (steam) and moves a piston. The steam is then cooled in a radiator and once again brought near the hot coals in a cycle that keeps the steam engine moving. The steam engine uses the temperature difference between the hot coal and the radiator to move the piston. The operation of the steam engine is described from an energy perspective by the machine cycles of thermodynamics, from the fluid flows by fluid mechanics, and from the heat flow by the science of heat transfer. // The term steam engine may also refer to an entire railroad steam locomotive. ... Thermodynamics (from the Greek thermos meaning heat and dynamics meaning power) is a branch of physics that studies the effects of changes in temperature, pressure, and volume on physical systems at the macroscopic scale by analyzing the collective motion of their particles using statistics. ... The hydrogeology is study about of water-bearing formation. ... In thermal science, heat transfer is the passage of thermal energy from a hot to a cold body. ...


In a steam turbine, steam is used to turn the blades of the turbine, which may then be used to turn a generator to produce electricity. This process also requires that the steam be cooled at some point in the process, or else it will not move from one place to another, which what causes the blades of the turbine to turn. WWII era steam turbine used for ship propulsion. ...


In a nuclear power plant atoms of fissionble material such as uranium are split into fast-moving ions, and these products produce intense heat after they strike the materials of the fuel rods and reactor cooling fluid. This heat is then used to generate steam from water, which in turn is used conventionally in a steam turbine to produce electricity. A nuclear power station. ... General Name, Symbol, Number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, Period, Block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Atomic mass 238. ...


Conversion of one form of energy to another may be done with very high or even perfect efficiency, unless the energy is in the form of heat. The conversion of heat to other forms of energy is never perfect, and (according to the second law of thermodynamics) must always be accompanied by further dissipation of some of the heat into colder bodies, as heat. Some of the heat energy in a steam engine or turbine must therefore always be lost as heat, which must be dissipated at a lower temperature without being turned into useful work. The second law of thermodynamics is a theorem in physics regarding the directional flow of heat in relation to work and which accounts for the phenomenon of irreversibility in thermodynamic systems. ...


Specific examples: Humans Chemical energy vonverts to Mechanical energy when lifitng up a weight. The sun Electromagnetic radiation energy transforms to chemical during a plants photosynthisis.


Other energy conversion machines

There are many different machines that convert one energy form into another:

A fuel cell is an electrochemical device similar to a battery, but differing from the latter in that it is designed for continuous replenishment of the reactants consumed; i. ... Geothermal power plant in the Philippines Look up geothermal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In engineering and thermodynamics, a heat engine performs the conversion of heat energy to mechanical work by exploiting the temperature gradient between a hot source and a cold sink. Heat is transferred from the source, through the working body of the engine, to the sink, and in this process some... A colorized automobile engine The internal combustion engine is a heat engine in which the burning of a fuel occurs in a confined space called a combustion chamber. ... // The term steam engine may also refer to an entire railroad steam locomotive. ... Hydroelectric dam diagram The waters of Llyn Stwlan, the upper reservoir of the Ffestiniog Pumped-Storage Scheme in north Wales, can just be glimpsed on the right. ... A Pratt and Whitney turbofan engine for the F-15 Eagle is tested at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, USA. The tunnel behind the engine muffles noise and allows exhaust to escape. ... Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... The deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction is considered the most promising for producing fusion power. ... View of a land based OTEC facility at Keahole Point on the Kona coast of Hawaii. ... A solar cell, made from a monocrystalline silicon wafer A solar cell (or a photovoltaic cell) is a semiconductor device that converts photons from the sun (solar light) into electricity. ... The major applications of solar thermal energy at present are heating swimming pools, heating water for domestic use, and space heating of buildings. ... // The term steam engine may also refer to an entire railroad steam locomotive. ... Wave power refers to the energy of ocean surface waves and the capture of that energy to do useful work - including electricity generation, desalination, and the pumping of water (into reservoirs). ... Wind farm in Neuenkirchen, Dithmarschen, Germany. ... Quartz: When a force is applied to the tetrahedon a displacement of the cation charge towards the center of the anion charges occurs Over the past 50 years piezoelectric sensors have proven to be a versatile tool for the measurement of various processes. ... A dielectric, or electrical insulator, is a substance that is highly resistant to electric current. ...

See also

Energy Conversion  
Active solar | Anaerobic digestion | Barra system | Biomass | Blue energy | Deep lake water cooling | Distributed generation | Earth cooling tubes | Electricity generation | Energy Tower | Fuel cell | Fusion Energy Unit | Fusion power | Geothermal power | Hydroelectricity | Hydrogen production | Mechanical biological treatment | Microgeneration | Ocean thermal energy conversion | Passive solar | Photovoltaics | Seasonal thermal store | Solar cell | Solar panel | Solar pond | Solar power | Solar power tower | Solar thermal energy | Solar tracker | Solar updraft tower | Sustainable community energy system | Tidal power | Trombe wall | Water turbine | Wave power | Wind farm | Wind power | Wind turbine
Sustainability and Development of Energy   Edit
Conversion | Development and Use | Sustainable Energy | Conservation | Transportation

  Results from FactBites:
 
Energy conversion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (578 words)
The operation of the steam engine is described from an energy perspective by the machine cycles of thermodynamics, from the fluid flows by fluid mechanics, and from the heat flow by the science of heat transfer.
Conversion of one form of energy to another may be done with very high or even perfect efficiency, unless the energy is in the form of heat.
The conversion of heat to other forms of energy is never perfect, and (according to the second law of thermodynamics) must always be accompanied by further dissipation of some of the heat into colder bodies, as heat.
Energy Conversion - NFCRC Tutorial (382 words)
Radiant energy from the sun is converted in nature to the mechanical energy of the wind and waves and, through photosynthesis, into the stored energy in plants.
Thus, energy is made available to us by nature in the form of chemical bond energy of fossil fuels which may be harnessed relatively easily or as sun light which may be directly converted to heat of electricity.
Thermal energy is derived directly by burning or combusting fossil fuels; mechanical energy is derived from heat energy in engines of various types; and radiant energy is provided by the luminosity of the flames of burning fuels.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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