Essay on Classifying Forms of Energy

Published: 2021-08-15 17:50:57
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Vanderbilt University
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Chemical energy is the energy that stored in chemicals and is generated by a chemical reaction. It is classified as potential energy. Elastic energy is the energy that is stored when an object is stretched or compressed. It is also classified as potential energy. Electric energy is a form of energy which results from the flow of electric charge through a conductor. It is classified as either potential energy or kinetic energy. Electromagnetic (light, x-rays, microwaves, etc.) energy is a form of energy that is discharged in the form of electrical and magnetic currents and can travel through a material or medium. It is classified as kinetic energy.

Gravitational energy is the energy stored or held by an object due to its height compared to a low position. It is associated with gravitational force, therefore, is classified as potential energy. Heat energy is the energy that occurs as a result of the movement of atoms and molecules in a substance. It is classified as kinetic energy. Movement of mass- this is energy that is stored in the movement of objects. It is a type of kinetic energy. Nuclear energy is the energy discharged during a nuclear reaction as a result of atomic energy i.e. nuclear fission or fusion and it is stored in the nucleus of the atom. It is classified as potential energy. Sound energy is the energy produced by vibrating sounds or when an object vibrates. The energy is transformed into the object in waves. It is classified under kinetic energy.

Static electric is the energy produced when two surfaces come into contact to produce an electric charge. Thermal energy is the energy that is derived from heat which is generated by the flow of particles within an object. It is classified under kinetic energy.

Work refers to carrying out a task using a certain amount of force or energy. This is classified as a transfer of some quantity of energy since it can involve movement or motion of objects for example.

Nuclear power plants are the main source of producing electricity. A nuclear power plant produces heat energy from atoms through nuclear fission. This refers to a nuclear reaction whereby the nucleus of the atom splits into smaller particles. The heat produced as a result is used to boil water to produce steam which is used to drive multiple giant turbines which are normally connected to generators. The turbines rotate at very high speeds, therefore, making the generator they are connected to rotate as well and as result electricity is produced. One of the advantages of electricity generation through nuclear energy is that it minimizes the amount of energy generated from fossil fuels. This reduces the emissions of greenhouse gases which leads to global warming.

Another advantage is that the production of electricity through nuclear requires less amount of fuel. This reduces the cost of transport and extraction of nuclear fuel. Nuclear plants have negative effects too one of them being nuclear waste management. It takes a lot of time to reduce risks associated with nuclear plants. The costs of generation of electricity are very high in nuclear plants. Nuclear power plants are used by the military. This has led to advanced warfare due to the creation of nuclear bombs that has affected countries like Japan during World War II.

Coal is one of the major materials used to produce electricity in many countries. The production of coal to electricity takes place in various phases. In the first stage of electricity production in a coal power plant, coal is burnt in the boilers to produce heat. Coal contains carbon which combines with the oxygen in the atmosphere to produce Carbon Dioxide. In the second phase, the heat from the burning of the coal in the boilers produces steam at a very high temperature and pressure. The steam that is produced under the immense pressure flows through turbines rotating the generator, therefore, producing electricity. Finally, the steam is cooled, condensed back into the water and then returned to the boiler to repeat the cycle again.

Coal power plants have various advantages and disadvantages. For instance, coal is used to produce electricity making it a reliable source of power by avoiding and reducing blackouts in many countries that produce coal. Coal energy produced from coal plants is affordable because coal is in plenty and it is cheap to mine and extract compared to other sources of energy. Plants that manufacture coal are considered to be a bit safer than other plants like nuclear. As much as coal is important it has also contributed to various negative effects globally. Production in the coal power plants has led to greenhouse gas emissions resulting from global warming. Mining of coal in many countries has caused displacement of humans due to pitting of the earth caused by underground mining.

The solar power plant is based on the conversion of sunlight into electrical energy either directly using photovoltaic or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP), or a combination. Photovoltaic converts sunlight into electric currents using the photovoltaic effect, CSP systems use lenses, mirrors and tracking system to focus a large area of sunlight into a small beam.

The photovoltaic cell also known as a solar cell uses the photovoltaic effect to convert light into electricity, specifically sunlight into electricity. An array of photovoltaic power systems or PV systems produces direct current which ranges with the sunlight's intensity. Through the use of inverters, it converts light into various desired voltages or alternating currents. Solar power is renewable energy that is available throughout the year. There are no gases produced in solar power plants hence making solar energy a very important source of electricity as well as an effective solution to the global warming menace. Solar power has provided energy security and independence. The sun which is the main source of solar is not controlled. One of the disadvantages of solar energy is that it is weather dependent. Solar panels depend on sunlight to gather energy so that they can produce electricity. The storage of solar energy is very expensive because the energy is stored in large batteries which are not cheap. The solar panels consume a lot of space, especially where there is a lot of solar energy consumed.

There is a dire need for sustainable sources of energy to emerge in most developing parts of the world, especially countries that have been restricted by extremely expensive oil and gas imports. One of the advancements in the use of new batteries, studies have shown that the use of new batteries has reduced costs and more energy stored. Iberdrola is an example of a company that has invested huge amounts into technological advances in renewable energy. Scientists have developed various methods of capturing Carbon dioxide from pollutant smoke which has reduced pollution of the ozone layer of the atmosphere. There has been also developments of new innovative projects in this company which are aimed at subsidizing a huge percentage of the emissions from electricity generating plants and industries that produce energy. A couple of marine technology devices are currently being tested. They are capable of harnessing waves and tides from oceans, transforming them into electricity.

Improvements in present methods of energy production have been facilitated through the creation of various software that has helped advance studies in the production of energy. Launching of various technological centers in different parts of the world will lead to a detailed study in energy production. By introducing such improvements, energy can be supplied constantly to both developed and third world countries. Power companies are willing and ready to adapt to new technological advancements but due to regulatory uncertainties and constant changes in political priorities, there are various regulatory inconsistencies that policymakers need to address.

 

References

American Association for the Advancement of Science. AAAS Annual Meeting 17 - 21 Feb 2011, Washington DC. "Sustainable or Not? Impacts and Uncertainties of Low-Carbon Energy Technologies on Water." Dr Evangelos Tzimas, European Commission, JRC Institute for Energy, Petten, Netherlands.

Diesendorf, Mark (2007). "Is nuclear energy a possible solution to global warming"(PDF). Social Alternatives. 26 (2).Kraemer, D; Hu, L; Muto, A; Chen, X; Chen, G; Chiesa, M (2008), "Photovoltaic-thermoelectric hybrid systems: A general optimization methodology", Applied Physics Letters, 92 (24): 243503, doi:10.1063/

 

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