Thermal Energy

What is thermical energy

Thermal energy is the energy of all particles that form a body. The oscillation of temperature in the body is a sign of the increase (warm up) or decrease (cool down) of its internal energy. The gain or loss of that internal energy during the process is called heat.

Thermal energy, or thermoelectric energy, intervenes in the calorific processes that occur when two bodies of different temperatures come into contact, the energy that is transmitted from body to body as a result of temperature differences It is what is called thermal energy.

Thermal energy can be acquired through different means such as:

  • the nature and the sun,
  • the exothermic reactions through the combustion of some fuel,
  • the nuclear reaction which can be caused by fission (when it originates in the atomic nucleus) or by fusion (when several atomic nuclei have a similar charge, they come together to give rise to a heavier nucleus with the release of a large amount of energy );
  • the joule effect is when a conductor circulates electric current and the Kinetic energy of electrons is transformed as a result of the shocks experienced by the electrical charges of the body and,
  • the friction as a consequence of different chemical or mechanical processes.

The unit of energy defined by the International System of Units is the Joule or Joule (J). Similarly, thermal energy is expressed in calories (Cal) or kilocalories (Kcal).

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The principle of conservation of energy states that “Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it is only transformed from one to the other.”

See also Energy.

heat or heat energy

Despite being used as a synonym for thermal energy, it is not exactly the same thing. Heat energy refers exclusively to the emanation of heat in its calorific phenomena therefore a distinction is made between thermal energy and simply heat.

Thermal energy is closely linked to heat and temperature. Heat is the measure of thermal energythat is, the more heat that a body can emanate means that it has a greater capacity for thermal energy.

Temperature on the other hand, it is the sensation of heat, that is, it shows us the heat energy level who has a body at that moment.

Heat can be transmitted from one body to another, through:

  • electromagnetic wave radiation like heat energy from the sun
  • driving when energy is transmitted from a hot body to a cold body, if two bodies are at the same temperature there is no energy transfer (for example when we touch a cold object with our hand, thermal or heat energy is transmitted to the object causing the sensation of cold in our hand) and,
  • convection when hot molecules are transported from one place to another as is the case with the wind.

Thermal energy and other types of natural energy

Thermal energy and solar thermal energy

Solar thermal energy is a type of renewable energy which consists of the transformation of the solar energy into thermal energy or in heat. Solar thermal energy uses the radiation that we receive directly from the sun and this is in charge of heating the fluids to temperatures that oscillate between 40° and 50° degrees. Due to the above, thermal energy is energy manifested in the form of heat.

See also Solar energy.

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Thermal energy and geothermal energy

Obtaining thermal energy causes an environmental impact due to the release of carbon dioxide (CO2), polluting emissions and radioactive waste, in addition to the use of power generating plants that can cause contamination due to the use of materials such as oil or products derived petrochemicals.

On the other hand, geothermal energy is that energy that is obtained from the interior of the earth, in a natural way, it is a renewable and clean energy since it does not cause any harm to the environment. Geothermal comes from the Greek geo which means “Earth”, and thermos, “heat”; therefore, it is the “heat of the earth”.

See also Geothermal energy.

Thermal energy and electrical energy

Thermal energy can be transformed into electrical energy, for example, fossil fuels: they cause electricity through the heat energy produced by the combustion of diesel, coal, natural gas, among other heavy oils. Electrical energy is the result of a potential difference between two points that allows the creation of an electrical current between them when they come into contact with an electrical conductor.

Thermal energy and chemical energy

Thermal energy is a type of energy released in the form of heat due to the contact of a body with a higher temperature to another with a lower temperature, as well as it can be obtained by different situations or means as previously mentioned. Chemical energy is one that has a chemical bond, that is, it is an energy produced only by chemical reactions.

See also Thermoelectric energy and Chemical energy.

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