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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Energy Transformation in Energy Systems Language.
Energy transformation, also termed as energy conversion, is the process of changing energy from one of its forms into another. In physics, energy is a quantity that provides the capacity to perform many actions—some as simple as lifting or warming an object. In addition to being convertible, energy is transferable to a different location or object, but it cannot be created or destroyed.
Energy in many of its forms may be used in natural processes, or to provide some service to society such as heating, refrigeration, lightening or performing mechanical work to operate machines. For example, in order to heat your home, your furnace can burn fuel, whose chemical potential energy is thus converted into thermal energy, which is then transferred to your home’s air in order to raise its temperature.
In another example, an internal combustion engine burns gasoline to cause pressure that pushes the pistons, thus performing work in order to accelerate your vehicle, ultimately converting the fuel’s chemical energy to your vehicle’s additional kinetic energy corresponding to its increase in speed. Conversion among non-thermal forms of energy may occur with fairly high efficiency, though there is always some energy dissipated thermally due to friction and similar processes. In such circumstances, a measure called entropy, or evening-out of energy distributions, dictates that future states of an isolated system must be of at least equal evenness in energy distribution.
In other words, there is no way to concentrate energy without spreading out energy somewhere else. Thermal energy in equilibrium at a given temperature already represents the maximal evening-out of energy between all possible states.
Such energy is sometimes considered “degraded energy,” because it is not entirely convertible a “useful” form, i. Entropy for this process more than compensates for the entropy decrease associated with transformation of the rest of the heat into other types of energy. In order to make the energy transformation more efficient, it is desirable to avoid the thermal conversion.