7 Types of Energy | Their Differences & Uses in Life

Energy is the invisible driving force of the entire universe. It takes different forms but is never destroyed.

Based on its nature and characters, it is of different types.

7 Different Types of Energy

  1. Chemical energy
  2. Mechanical energy
  3. Thermal energy
  4. Electric energy
  5. Magnetic energy
  6. Kinetic energy
  7. Potential energy.
  8. Light or solar energy

These varying types of energy help to carry out diverse and different functions in the universe.

Chemical energy

Types of Energy-chemical-energy

This is the energy that is present in the bonds of the atoms and molecules of matter. This is the one that is also the source of life on Earth.

For example, Sunlight is stored as energy by plants in the form of carbohydrates. The light rays falling on the green leaves of plants are absorbed and used to synthesize glucose and other carbohydrates from Carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O).

Thus energy from Sunlight is trapped as chemical energy in the form of bonds in carbohydrates.

This glucose and other carbohydrates are broken down in animals to release the stored energy as adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

This ATP is useful to fuel the movement of the muscles, the functioning of organs in the body, and the generation of body heat.

So, the energy stored from Sunlight is converted to chemical energy and used to maintain life on Earth.

Electrochemical energy is another form of chemical energy generated due to the voltage potential generated between chemicals. This is the principle used in batteries to generate energy.

Mechanical energy

Types of Energy-mechanical-energy

This is another form of energy that causes the physical movement of the objects. This energy is the sum of both potential and kinetic energy.

Heat energy is converted to mechanical energy, as seen in the movement of automobiles.

Also, mechanical energy can be produced by electricity, as seen by the movement of fans due to magnetic energy.

Mechanical energy can be measured in terms of work done. The hydropower produced by falling water in dams is due to the mechanical rotation of turbines.

Thermal energy

It is heat energy and can be felt and measured as temperature.

This energy is produced due to the burning of substances, irradiation of light rays, nuclear power, and even friction.

This energy can easily convert to mechanical, electric, and light energy.

This is very useful for human activities like transport, electricity generation, cooking, molding of tough metals, sterilization, etc.

Electric energy

This energy is produced due to the movement of electrons in the metallic wires.

This energy is swift in its motion and hence can reach distant places in a fraction of a second.

This is widely used in modern human life. All the lights and bulbs glow due to electric energy.

7 types of energy-electrical energy

All electronic devices can run only in the presence of this energy.

This energy can also be easily converted into mechanical energy as we notice the trains, fans, water pumps, etc., running due to it.

Even the automobiles like cars, bikes, buses, and trains run on electricity.

Cars, bikes, and buses run due to stored electricity in the batteries. While the trains are run through direct wire transfer from electric poles.

Magnetic energy

This energy differs from other types of energy in that it attracts or repels objects near it. This energy is thought to be formed due to the movement of electrons in an object.

This energy has opposite poles, like north and south. There is attraction when opposing sides come together; they get repelled when the same side comes nearer. This magnetic energy is helpful in the production of movement in electric machines like fans and motors.

Kinetic energy

types-of-energy-potential energy

This is the energy present in an object during its motion.

For example, when a ball is thrown up, it goes up due to kinetic energy and falls.

But when the ball stops moving up, there is a slight lag; it stands still for a fraction of a second. At this juncture, the energy in the ball is potential energy.

It is also seen in swings and roller coasters. This kinetic energy also has different forms, like light rays and radiation energy. Here the photons of light or nuclear material move due to kinetic energy.

Potential energy

This energy is present in many forms, like gravitational and elastic energy.

This energy is seen in moving objects that are those inactive forms about to move. Thus both kinetic and potential energy can be present in the same object.

Light or solar energy

Light is also a form of energy, and unlike other forms, it has quantifiable energy particles called photons.

When light falls on any material, the energy from photons is transferred into the material as heat.

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