Energy is defined as the capacity to either do work or to produce heat. It is a state function. Kinetic energy and potential energy are the two forms of energy. In thermodynamics, it is studied that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed but can be transformed from one form to another. The SI unit of energy is Joules.
Energy transformation is also known as energy conversion. Energy transformation is defined as the change in energy from one form to another.
Examples of energy transformation
Following are the examples of energy transformation:
- Transformation of electrical energy into thermal energy can be observed in a toaster.
- Transformation of electrical energy into mechanical energy can be observed in a blender.
- Chemical energy from a natural gas stove is transformed into thermal energy while cooking food.
Energy transformation in a steam engine
A steam engine is a machine which is used for converting heat energy into mechanical energy where steam is used as the working fluid. When the conversion of water into steam takes place, the volume of the steam increases about 1600 times. The basis of all steam engines is based on the conversion. Superheated steam force is used for operating the steam engine. A piston is attached to a crankshaft which moves back and forth resulting in the rotary motion of the piston. This motion is made smooth and steady by using a flywheel. At every end of the cylinder, there is an inlet valve. The piston is moved to the other end of the cylinder by passing steam at one of the inlet valves. Steam from the other inlet valve will push the piston back to its original position, and this cycle continues.
Let’s now learn about a few terms which may seem to have the same meaning but they don’t.
Energy transfer: It is defined as the movement of energy from one object to another without any change in the form. Conduction of heat is an example of energy transfer.
Energy transformation: It is defined as the change in the state of energy. Conversion of heat energy from the sun into electrical energy is an example of energy transformation.
Energy conservation: It is defined as the principle in which the total energy of the system remains constant, irrespective of the external factors.
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