The 3 Main Types of Energy
All forms of energy are energy bound. For instance, any given system has kinetic energy when it is in motion, i.e. even a simple spring has the potential of creating motion if it’s wound up properly. A material that experiences pressure or stretching also has this energy, when it’s stretched. The more such a material can be stretched without damaging its elasticity, the higher its potential energy. Potential energy is useful for a number of things in our physical world, but it’s particularly useful for generating power.
One way that we can convert energy to some kind of usable form of energy is by using some kind of wind power or some type of hydroelectric power. Hydroelectric power works on the basis of water and the flow of it against gravity. If we have a river or a pond with a lot of water behind it that runs into a mountain range, the energy can be used to power a turbine that spins a dynamo that causes energy to be created in the turbines’ axle shaft. This produces mechanical energy and in the process spins a propeller, which rotates a generator and ultimately produces mechanical energy. A dam can help as well, with the water behind the dam being used to turn a generator and therefore create more energy.
To a certain extent, fossil fuels provide this kind of energy as well, but they’re not always easily available, especially if we need them in great quantities. Biofuels can be made from biomass, but they tend to be more expensive than fossil fuels. The problem is that this fuel is still only really useful for powering machines that can do without energy (such as cars and planes). And biofuels can’t be processed, so we need to either burn these up or make them process to some extent. Which makes biofuel a somewhat limited energy source.
Another type of renewable energy is the electromagnetic energy. Electromagnetic energy comes from magnets and the like. We use this energy for many things, mainly in our cell phones. Electromagnetic energy isn’t actually produced by the magnets, but rather created by their interaction with an outside source, such as the sun or some other star.
Thermal energy is the opposite of electromagnetic energy: it comes from heat. Thermal energy can be converted into electrical energy very easily, but there are some inherent problems with it, namely the relatively slow rate of transfer. It’s also difficult to store thermal energy. All the energy has to be converted into heat, and then stored in a special furnace to be used later.
Kinetic energy on the other hand is created from moving objects. You might think of it as going “bouncing” up and down a set of stairs, or maybe as running across the lawn. Kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy in a mechanical process called the Kinetic Energy Equation (KEE). This is the basic way that all forms of energy, be it from light or from heat, is transferred from an external source to a human being or an object.