Physics

Different Sources of Energy

Energy

The capacity of working an object is called energy. It may exist in kinetic, thermal, electrical, chemical, nuclear, or other various forms. Like work, energy is also a scalar quantity. Actually work is done by energy transfer. There are always two factors involved in doing work – one who does the work and the one on whom the work is done. The energy of the object doing work decreases as much as the energy of the other object increases. The entire energy of the system remains constant. The work done is equal to the energy transferred.

 

Difference Sources of Energy

1) Solar Energy

Solar Energy
Solar Energy

Actually, the Sun is the fundamental source of all types of energy. Humans invented all other sources of energy that are only ​transformed by solar energy. For example, growth in plants is due to solar energy. We obtain food and wood from these plants that contain chemical energy. In the ancient era, the plants were buried inside the Earth due to extreme temperature and pressure that were converted into coal, petroleum, etc which are sources of energy. Like this, the water from oceans evaporates due to solar energy and this evaporates waterfalls on the earth in the form of rain. This rainwater is used for the production of electricity through turbines.

The fundamental source of solar energy is nuclear fusion. In this process, four nuclei of hydrogen combine to form one nucleus of helium. Whatever mass is lost in this reaction is converted into energy according to Einstein’s mass-energy equation. The Sun is 99 percent hydrogen, due to which the process of nuclear fusion on the Sun will continue to provide additional energy to the Earth for millions of years in the future.

2) Water Energy

Water Energy
Water Energy

Under this, hydroelectric energy is obtained mainly by dynamo by dropping high potential energy water obtained by making dams on rivers and tidal water of the sea on turbine blades. Hydroelectric power is the leading renewable energy source used to generate electricity in most countries. The first commercial U.S. power station using ocean waves to generate electricity is in the works in Oregon. Apart from this, water energy is also used in transportation.

 

3)  Air Energy

Wind Turbine
Wind Turbine

Moving air has kinetic energy due to its velocity. Many mechanical works can be done with this. For example, separating straw from grain, sailing boats, generating electricity by a windmill, etc.

4) Fossil Fuel Energy

Fossil Fuel Energy
Fossil Fuel Energy

Energy sources that were formed from ancient plants and organisms during the Carboniferous Period, approximately 286 – 360 million years ago are called fossil fuel energy. There are three major types of fossil fuels:

  • Coal: Due to pressure and heat ferns, plants and trees were hardened and converted into coal.
  • Petroleum: Intense amounts of pressure caused smaller organisms, like zooplankton and algae to decompose into petroleum.
  • Natural Gas undergoes the same process as oil; however, the process is long and subject to higher amounts of heat and pressure, causing further decomposition.

 

5)  Biomass

Biomass
Biomass

Biomass is renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals. The decomposition of those parts of trees-plants and animals which are discarded as waste releases methane gas which is flammable. It is used as fuel. Biomass continues to be an important fuel in many countries, especially for cooking and heating in developing countries.

6) Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Energy

When the nuclei of many radioactive substances (especially uranium) are fissioned by the bombardment of neutrons, some amount of nuclear mass is converted into energy according to Einstein’s theory, releasing a large amount of nuclear energy. This action takes place in a nuclear reactor.

 

7) Geothermal Energy

Geothermic Plant Chimney
Geothermic Plant Chimney

Geothermal energy is heat within the earth. It is a renewable energy source because heat is continuously produced inside the earth. People use geothermal heat for bathing, heating buildings, and generating electricity.

 

Important Questions

Question 1: What is the fundamental source of energy?

Answer: The Sun is the fundamental source of all types of energy. Humans invented all other sources of energy that are only ​transformed by solar energy.

Question 2: How does the sun create energy?

Answer: The fundamental source of solar energy is nuclear fusion. In this process, four nuclei of hydrogen combine to form one nucleus of helium. Whatever mass is lost in this reaction is converted into energy according to Einstein’s mass-energy equation.

Question 3: What is the function of a hydroelectric generator?

Answer: Hydroelectric energy is obtained mainly by dynamo by dropping high potential energy water obtained by making dams on rivers and tidal water of the sea on turbine blades. The turbines, in turn, drive generators, which convert the turbines’ mechanical energy into electricity.  Hydroelectric power is the leading renewable energy source used to generate electricity in most countries.

Question 4: What is fossil fuel energy?

Answer: Energy sources that were formed from ancient plants and organisms during the Carboniferous Period, approximately 286 – 360 million years ago is called fossil fuel energy. Coal, petroleum, and natural gas are the main examples of fossil fuels.

Question 5: What is biomass?

Answer: Biomass is renewable organic material that comes from plants and animals. Biomass continues to be an important fuel in many countries, especially for cooking and heating in developing countries.

Question 6: How is nuclear energy obtained?

Answer: When the nuclei of many radioactive substances (especially uranium) are fissioned by the bombardment of neutrons, some amount of nuclear mass is converted into energy according to Einstein’s theory, releasing a large amount of nuclear energy.

Question 7: Where is found geothermal energy?

Answer:  Geothermal energy is heat within the earth. It is a renewable energy source because heat is continuously produced inside the earth.

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