Energy stores

Energy Stores

There are seven main stores of energy:

  • Magnetic
  • Internal (thermal)
  • Chemical
  • Kinetic
  • Electrostatic
  • Elastic potential
  • Gravitational potential
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Energy Stores

Elastic potential- The energy stored when an object is stretched or squashed. Drawn catapults, compressed springs, inflated balloons.

Gravitational potential- The energy of an object at height. Aeroplanes, kites, mugs on a table.

Kinetic-The energy of a moving object. Runners, buses, comets.

Chemical- The energy stored in chemical bonds, such as those between molecules.Foods, muscles, electrical cells.

Magnetic-The energy stored when repelling poles have been pushed closer together or when attracting poles have been pulled further apart.Fridge magnets, compasses, maglev trains which use magnetic levitation.

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Energy Stores

Internal (thermal)-The total kinetic and potential energy of the particles in an object, in most cases this is the vibrations - also known as the kinetic energy - of particles. In hotter objects, the particles have more internal energy and vibrate faster.Human bodies, hot coffees, stoves or hobs. Ice particles vibrate slower, but still have energy.

Electrostatic-The energy stored when repelling charges have been moved closer together or when attracting charges have been pulled further apart.Thunderclouds, Van De Graaff generators.

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Energy Stores

Systems and stores

Energy can remain in the same store for millions of years or sometimes just for a fraction of a second. There are energy transfers going on all the time - whenever a system changes there is a change in the way some or all of the energy is stored.

Examples of energy transfers:

A swining pirate ship - kinetic energy is transferred into gravitational energy.

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Energy Stores

Transferring energy

In each of these examples, energy is transferred by one of the following four types of energy transfer:

Mechanical work - a force moving an object through a distance

Electrical work - charges moving due to a potential difference

Heating - due to temperature difference caused electrically or by chemical reaction

Radiation - energy tranferred as a wave, eg light and infrared - light radiation and infrared radiation are emitted from the sun

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Energy Stores


Examples of dissipation:

  • Energy is usually lost by heating up the  surroundings though sometimes energy is dissipated as sound waves.
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