Examples of Energy Classification

We explain that what are examples of energy classification? In physics, energy is the ability of a system to do work . In this way, it is the agent that serves to set a body in motion or heat a substance , among many other types of work. The sciences classify this ability according to the phenomena in which they participate, whether physical or chemical. Therefore, there is a wide list of different energies.

Being present in natural processes, energy is a resource that can both be obtained and generated . It is said that energy is obtained when, directly from the natural process, an instrument or collector is placed to gather it. This is the case of windmills that take energy from the air to transform it into movement; and of the dams that are built in large bodies of water.
It is said that energy is generated when there is a facility in which, through various physical or chemical equipment and mechanisms, the ability to perform a specific job is produced and released. When it comes to generating energy, the engineers and operators of the industrial plant concentrate on achieving it with the least amount of money possible, making the most of resources.

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Energy characteristics

Energy, being present in the performance of different types of work, is distinguished by the following general characteristics.

  • It is a measurable and calculable property of systems.
  • If it is obtained from nature, it can be renewable or non-renewable, depending on the source from which it is obtained.
  • It can be driven between different components of industrial equipment.
  • It can be transformed into other types of energy.
  • It obeys the First Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the Law of Conservation of Energy: ” Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it only transforms .”

Kinetic energy and potential energy

There are two main types of energy, which are kinetic and potential. The kinetic energy is related to the movement of particles of a substance, so can be calculated at all scales. The potential energy is having a body or a substance for its position, height or idle state. All matter in the universe has at least one of these types of energy.

15 examples of energy classification

Energy is of different natures, well differentiated and related to the phenomenon of which they are part. In this way, they can be studied and it is possible to see what function they fulfill, how they interact, transform and affect each other . The energy classification is listed below, with its brief explanation:

  1. Mechanical energy: It is the mixture of kinetic and potential energies, and that are destined to perform mechanical work. That is, to achieve the movement of a piece or body.
  2. Electromagnetic energy: It is the energy stored in a region or area of ​​space, within an electromagnetic field. Other types of energy participate in it, such as radiant, thermal, electrical and magnetic. It may also be due to the presence of waves from the electromagnetic spectrum.
  3. Internal energy: In a thermodynamic system like the piston of an internal combustion engine, it is the combined potential and kinetic energies of the particles within it.
  4. Thermal energy: It is the kinetic energy of the particles of a substance, which can be transmitted to another or its environment, in the form of heat.
  5. Ionization energy : It is the energy necessary to detach an electron from any atom. Each chemical element has its own ionization energy.
  6. Chemical energy: It is the energy that is released in a chemical reaction, generally in the form of heat, but also as the interaction of the substances that participate in it.
  7. Nuclear energy: It is the potential energy that exists in the attraction between protons and neutrons, particles that form the atomic nucleus.
  8. Electrical energy: It is the energy contained in the flow of electrons through an electrical conductor, from a point of greater electrical potential to another of less electrical potential.
  9. Luminous energy: It is the energy contained in visible light, and that allows us to appreciate everything that is around, which would otherwise remain in the dark and only perceptible by the other senses, such as touch.
  10. Radiant energy: It is the energy contained in all radiation, such as those that make up the electromagnetic spectrum, which are radio waves, visible light, X-rays, gamma rays, infrared rays, and ultraviolet rays.
  11. Magnetic energy: It is the energy contained in the attraction produced by magnets, which are pieces of Fe 3 O 4 magnetite with two magnetic poles.
  12. Wind energy: It is the energy contained in the wind, which is the atmospheric air in motion. It is captured in wind turbines, which have blades that rotate, collecting that movement and transmitting it to an electrical collector.
  13. Geothermal energy: It is the energy contained in the inner layers of planet Earth. It is distinguished by being generally hot, and is captured in hot springs, geysers and volcanoes.
  14. Hydraulic energy: It is the energy carried by flowing water, especially large bodies. This is used in the dams of hydroelectric plants to produce electrical energy with its movement.
  15. Solar energy: It is the energy contained in solar radiation. It contains heat, visible light, and other electromagnetic waves, making it the sum of thermal, light, and electromagnetic energies.


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