Do you know how energy is stored?
Energy Stores and Transfers Quiz
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Match some of the following words with the example.
Chemical, elastic potential, nuclear, kinetic, thermal, gravitational potential
Complete the statements:
- Moving objects = energy
- In chemicals = energy
- In hot objects = energy
- In twisted or stretched materials = energy
- In objects at high altitude = energy
- In atoms = energy
Why is the total energy transferred to a kettle’s heating element, more than the total energy of the boiled water inside the kettle?CorrectIncorrect
Which of the following statements is correct?CorrectIncorrect
What are the units we use for measuring energy?CorrectIncorrect
Energy can be transferred to useful and non-useful forms. Which of the following are non-useful transfers of energy?CorrectIncorrect
A train is travelling at 45 miles per hour. The driver puts on the brakes in order to stop at the station. Where is the kinetic energy of the train being transferred to?CorrectIncorrect
What is this Sankey Diagram showing?CorrectIncorrect
Using the equation: Efficiency = useful energy/total energy, calculate the efficiency in the following scenario. Useful energy = 55 J, Total energy = 100 J. Answer to 2dp.CorrectIncorrect
How can you reduce the effect of friction in the chain on a bicycle?CorrectIncorrect
All energy is stored in some way before being transferred between stores. There are many types of energy stores including those which are most familiar to us:
- Thermal or heat energy
- Kinetic or movement energy (KE)
- Atomic or nuclear energy
- Gravitational potential energy (GPE)
- Elastic potential energy
- Chemical energy
- Electrical energy
Energy must move between these stores and each time energy is transferred there is an efficiency of transfer that is less than 100%. Often this leads to energy being dissipated into the environment as heat, sound and light. These waste energy transfers exist at different levels with some energy sources being more efficient than others. Inevitably energy transfers with less than 100% efficiency lead to greater entropy in the Universe, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Energy Transfer Diagrams - Sankey Diagrams
In order to explain energy transfers, we often rely on energy transfer diagrams and in particular, Sankey Diagrams. These show the amount of energy in Joules that is transferred and into which store they move, or how the energy is distributed between useful and non-useful forms of energy. The size of the arrows can be used to show the proportion of energy at each stage, with thicker or wider arrows indicating more energy being transferred.
On the right is an example of a Sankey diagram showing the energy transferred to a light bulb with electricity and the ways in which energy is transferred out of the light bulb and into the environment.
Energy Transfers Examples
Below is a list of examples of simplified energy transfers between different types of energy stores. Remember that energy may transition between multiple stores along the way.
- Chemical energy in an electric vehicle’s battery is transferred to the kinetic energy of the car moving
- Chemical energy in a person’s muscles (ATP) is transferred to the kinetic energy of the person running
- Nuclear energy is transferred to electrical energy in a nuclear fission power station
- Gravitational potential energy is transferred to kinetic energy as a skydiver jumps from an aeroplane
- The kinetic energy of a train’s movement is transferred to thermal energy in the train’s brakes
- Electrical energy is transferred to gravitational potential energy when water is pumped into a storage reservoir at a higher altitude
Thermal energy is transferred by the mechanisms of conduction, convection and radiation.
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