Energy Converter

Energy Converter

energy conversion the conversion of energy from forms provided by nature to forms usable by humans

For this goal, a vast range of technologies and systems have been developed over the years. Some of these energy converters are relatively straightforward. For example, early windmills converted wind kinetic energy into mechanical energy for pumping water and grinding grain. Other energy-conversion systems are far more complicated, notably those that use raw energy from fossil fuels and nuclear fuels to generate electricity. These systems necessitate a number of phases or processes in which energy undergoes a number of transformations.

the conversion of energy from forms provided by nature to forms usable by humans

Many of today's energy converters include the conversion of thermal energy into electrical energy. The efficiency of such systems, however, is subject to fundamental restrictions imposed by thermodynamic laws and other scientific concepts. In recent years, much emphasis has been paid to direct energy-conversion technologies, most notably solar cells and fuel cells, which bypass the intermediate step of converting to thermal energy in the generation of electrical power.

the conversion of energy from forms provided by nature to forms usable by humans

This article follows the evolution of energy-conversion technology, showing not only traditional systems but also alternative and experimental converters with significant promise. It defines their distinguishing characteristics, basic operating principles, primary types, and essential applications. See thermodynamics for a discussion of thermodynamic laws and their impact on system design and performance.

Considerations in general:

The most common and simplest definition of energy is the equivalent of or capacity for producing labour. The term derives from the Greek energeia: en, "in," and ergon, "labour." Energy can be related with a material substance, such as a coiled spring or a moving item, or it can be independent of matter, such as light and other electromagnetic radiation passing through a vacuum. The energy in a system may only be partially used. The dimensions of energy are those of work, which is defined explicitly in classical mechanics as the product of mass (m) and the square of the length (l) to time (t) ratio: ml2/t2.This indicates that the greater the mass, the greater the distance travelled, or the shorter the time required to move the mass, the greater the work done or the greater the energy used.

The evolution of the energy concept:

The term energy was not used as a measure of the ability to conduct work until quite late in the history of mechanics. Indeed, the advancement of classical mechanics can be accomplished without the use of the concept of energy. The concept of energy, on the other hand, dates back to Galileo in the 17th century. He observed that when a weight is raised using a pulley system, the force applied multiplied by the distance through which that force must be exerted (a product known as the work) remains constant even if either factor varies.

The concept of vis viva, or vital power, was presented in the 17th century as a quantity exactly related to the product of mass and square of velocity. The term energy was used to the concept of the vis viva in the nineteenth century.
The acceleration of a mass is connected with force according to Isaac Newton's first law of motion. It is almost unavoidable that the combined impact of the force acting on the mass would be of interest. Of course, the integral of the influence of the force acting on the mass can be defined in two ways.

The spatial integral of the force is the integral of the force acting along the line of action of the force; the temporal integral is the integral of the force across the time of its action on the mass.

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