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Types of energy

Type of energy Description

Magnetic Energy in magnets and


Kinetic The energy in moving
objects. Also called
movement energy.

A bullet cutting a playing

Heat Also called thermal energy

Burning match

Light Also called radiant energy


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Gravitational Stored energy in raised
potential objects

Sky divers

Chemical Stored energy in fuel, foods
and batteries

Organic food

Sound Energy released by vibrating


Electrical Energy in moving or static
electric charges


Elastic potential Stored energy in stretched
or squashed objects


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Nuclear Stored in the nuclei of

Nuclear fuel assembly

Energy transfer
Different types of energy can be transferred from one type to another. Energy transfer
diagrams show each type of energy, whether it is stored or not, and the processes taking
place as it is transferred. Sankey diagrams also…

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Process of using electrical energy

Notice that these energy transfer diagrams only show the useful energy transfers.
However, car engines are also noisy and hot, and electric lamps also give out heat

Sankey diagrams
Sankey diagrams summarise all the energy transfers taking place in a process. The thicker

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'Wasted' energy
Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transferred from one form to
another or moved. Energy that is 'wasted', like the heat energy from an electric lamp,
does not disappear. Instead, it is transferred into the surroundings and spreads out so
much that it becomes…

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From the diagram, you can see that much less electrical energy is transferred, or
'wasted', as heat energy.

Calculating efficiency
The efficiency of a device such as a lamp can be calculated using this equation:
efficiency = ( useful energy transferred ÷ energy supplied ) × 100
The efficiency of…


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