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Energy

Thermal Energy

Definition of thermal energy

It is known as thermal energy to which the energy released in the form of heat, that is, it manifests itself through the passage of heat from a warmer place to another having a lower temperature body. It can be transformed into electrical energy and mechanical energy. Thermal energy is the internal energy of a thermodynamic equilibrium system, which is proportional to absolute temperature and increases or decreases in energy transfer, usually in the form of work or heat in thermodynamic processes. Types of Thermal Energy

What is thermal energy?

Thermal or calorific energy is that which is produced by the transmission of heat from one body to another.

As the temperature of a body increases, the movement of the particles that compose it becomes greater, thus generating more energy. Types of Thermal Energy

This type of energy is released in the form of heat , the same that can be obtained naturally or artificially and is generated when there is work or movement.

The most common generation of this type of energy is by means of fossil fuels, when it is produced in this way, this energy becomes non-renewable energy due to the consumption it needs.

By generating CO2 or carbon dioxide, this energy generates pollution in the environment, the opposite of clean energy or alternative energy. Types of Thermal Energy

When referring to thermal energy, it is also important to talk about heat since this form of energy implies that there are calorific phenomena.

When one body transfers its thermal energy to another, that is, the two bodies are in prolonged contact, the initial energy is transferred from the body with the highest temperature to the one with the lowest temperature until reaching a midpoint, this is called the principle of thermal equilibrium. Types of Thermal Energy

The clearest and most common example of an application of thermal energy is the locomotive . The traditional locomotive was a means of transport that allowed transport and trade.

The principle used by the locomotive is the generation of a mechanical movement by means of heat energy that fed the motors and transmitting this energy to generate movement.

Thermal Energy Formula

In ideal gases , the translational kinetic energy is much more expressive than the kinetic energies of rotation and vibration. According to the kinetic theory of gases , the average translational kinetic energy of the molecules of an ideal monoatomic gas (which corresponds to its thermal energy) can be calculated using the following identity:

Thermal Energy Formula

CIN – average kinetic energy (J)

B – Boltzmann constant (1.38.10 -23 J/k)

T – temperature (K)

The figure outlines some possibilities of movement that molecules make.
The figure outlines some possibilities of movement that molecules make.

The above equation is the result of the energy equipartition theorem . According to this theorem, each degree of freedom, that is, each possible direction of motion of the molecules is equivalent to a factor of ½ over the average kinetic energy. In the case described, as we consider only the translational movement, there are only three possibilities: the x,y and z directions. Therefore, the factor that multiplies the product K B T is 3/2. Types of Thermal Energy

Types of Thermal Energy

There are two types of thermal energy according to how it is generated: geothermal energy and solar thermal energy .

1. Solar Thermal Energy Types of Thermal Energy

Solar thermal energy is that which is formed from the use of heat generated by sunlight. Types of Thermal Energy

In general, this type of energy is also called solar energy, the same that is generated by means of solar panels . Like any other energy, it can be used for the production of mechanical energy through generators and in turn converted into electrical energy.

The common use of this form of energy is for domestic use since a regular size panel can generate enough energy to produce the energy a home needs without any problem.

One of the biggest problems with this technology is the cost of the panels, however, once installed, they are cheap to maintain, which is a viable option for clean and renewable energy .

2. Geothermal Energy Types of Thermal Energy

The geothermal energy is the energy that comes from the use of the internal heat of the earth .

This type of energy follows the same principle as solar thermal energy and hydraulic energy since in this case, the earth generates heat (kinetic energy) that is used by energy generators (producing mechanical energy) and in turn passing By the process of the geothermal plant, electrical energy is produced.

Geothermal energy is one of the types of renewable energy and is considered as clean energy. By using a renewable resource, it is a viable option to decrease the use of non-renewable and planet-polluting energy. Types of Thermal Energy

The largest geothermal power plant in the world is called Hellisheiði Power Station located in Iceland. This plant is capable of producing up to 300 MW (megawatts), which it can maintain at around 300.

How to obtain thermal energy?

This energy can be obtained from different situations or circumstances such as: nature, the sun, an exothermic reaction, as in the case of the combustion of a fuel.

It is possible to obtain thermal energy through nuclear reactions, either by fission (when the nuclear reaction occurs in atomic nuclei) or by fusion (several atomic nuclei that have a similar charge combine to result in a much heavier nucleus; accompanies the release of a large amount of energy).

Joule: phenomenon in which, when a conductive current flows, part of the kinetic energy of the electrons is transformed into heat as a result of shocks to the atoms of the conductive material through which they circulate. Types of Thermal Energy

On the other hand, it is also feasible to use the energy of nature, which is in the form of thermal energy, as in the case of geothermal energy (energy is obtained by taking advantage of the internal heat of planet earth) and photovoltaic solar energy (electricity renewable obtained directly from the sun’s rays).

Thermal energy transfer

There are three mechanisms of thermal energy transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation. Types of Thermal Energy

  • Driving:

It is the power of transmission in the form of heat from a part of a body to another organ of the same, or from one body to another that is in physical contact with it without appreciable displacement of particles. Types of Thermal Energy

  • Convection:

It is the transmission of heat from one point to another within a fluid, a gas or a liquid, mixing one part of the fluid with another. In natural convection, fluid motion is due entirely to density differences as a result of temperature differences; In forced convection, movement occurs by mechanical means. When the forced velocity is relatively low, it should be understood that free convection factors, such as differences in temperature and density, can have a significant influence.

  • Radiation:

It is the transmission of thermal energy from one body to another, which is not in contact with it, through the movement of waves through space. In all the mechanisms of heat transmission, the rate of cooling of a body is approximately proportional to the difference in temperature between the body and the environment. This fact is known as Newton’s law of cooling. In many real-world situations, all three heat transfer mechanisms occur simultaneously, although some of them may be more dominant than others. Types of Thermal Energy

Impact of the use of thermal energy

It must be taken into account that obtaining thermal energy will always cause an environmental impact, since combustion releases carbon dioxide and highly polluting emissions.

This modification that is generated in the temperature, reaching certainly high levels, is absolutely harmful to people’s lives. The human being can be affected by this type of pollution through two elements that we need, elementally, to live, as well as water and air. Types of Thermal Energy

Today this type of pollution has become a global problem and is the main cause of the warming that our planet suffers and that makes us witness the most unheard of climatic phenomena, which in most cases occur abruptly. and they leave huge leaps in terms of material destruction and human casualties.

Examples of thermal energy

Heat energy is often linked to other types of energy . Here are some examples of heat energy: examples of Thermal Energy

  • Nuclear energy. In the process of nuclear fission of uranium atoms, a large amount of energy is released in the form of heat. examples of Thermal Energy
  • Chemical energy. In a chemical reaction. Exothermic reactions generate heat.
  • Electric power. The passage of electrons through a resistor generates heat. examples of Thermal Energy
  • Geothermal energy. It is the use of heat from the interior of the Earth. examples of Thermal Energy
  • Fossil fuels. In the combustion of fossil fuels. Car engines, etc.

In many of these fields this energy is used to obtain mechanical energy . Or potential energy . Types of Thermal Energy

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