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School Physics revision notes: Thermal energy stores and heat transfer

Use the page sub-index, take time to study the content or [Use the website search box] re-edit 28/11/2022

TYPES OF ENERGY STORE - examples explained

(g) Thermal energy stores

IGCSE AQA GCSE Physics Edexcel GCSE Physics OCR GCSE Gateway Science Physics OCR GCSE 21st Century Science Physics Doc Brown's school physics revision notes: GCSE physics, IGCSE physics, O level physics,  ~US grades 8, 9 and 10 school science courses or equivalent for ~14-16 year old students of physics

This page will help you answer questions such as ...  What is a thermal energy store?   Can you describe examples of a thermal energy store?   How can you increase the thermal energy content of a thermal energy store?

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Thermal energy and thermal energy stores

All objects above -273oC (O K) have thermal energy, if not a lot at very low temperatures!

The hotter an object, the more thermal/thermal energy the material contains/holds/stores and hot objects can release thermal energy to cooler surroundings.

Thermal energy can only move from a higher temperature material to a lower temperature material - there must be a negative temperature gradient for a net flow of thermal energy.

Thermal energy is due to the vibration of atoms in solids or the kinetic energy of particle movement in liquids or gases.

Thermal energy - 'heat', is all about the kinetic energy of individual atoms or molecules.

Thermal energy from a thermal energy store can only flow from a higher temperature region to a lower temperature region ie from hot objects to cold objects.

Increasing an objects temperature increases its thermal energy store.

The increase in the thermal energy store is proportional to the rise in temperature.

Measurement of the efficiency of a fuel using a simple calorimeter

When a fuel is burned, the chemical potential energy contained in the fuel is converted to thermal energy.

The diagram shows a simple calorimeter system for measuring the heat given out by a liquid fuel burner.

The experiment data for burning four fuels A, B, C and D is given below.

Typically, 100 ml (100g) of water is used in the calorimeter to 'collect' the thermal energy ('heat') given out.

The mass of fuel burned and the temperature rise of the water are given.

A relative measure of the thermal energy output of the fuel per unit mass of fuel (relative efficiency) is easily obtained by dividing the temperature rise by the mass of fuel burned.

The most efficient fuel will give the biggest ratio.

 Fuel Mass of fuel burned (m) Temperature rise oC (T) T/m Comments A 1.20 g 24.5 20.4 B 0.80 g 12.0 15.0 Least efficient fuel C 1.75 g 28.0 16.0 D 0.90 g 19.5 21.7 Most efficient fuel

Sections 6. and 7. from Energy Changes in Chemistry give you lots more details on calorimeter experiments.

For detailed examples of energy store conversions see ...

Types of energy & stores - examples compared/explained, calculations of mechanical work done and power

and Introduction to heat transfer - conduction (and thermal conductivity), convection and radiation GCSE physics notes

and Specific heat capacity: how to determine it, use of data, calculations and thermal energy stores

Energy resources, energy transfers, work done and electrical power supply revision notes index

Types of energy & stores - examples compared/explained, calculations of mechanical work done and power

Chemical energy stores  * Elastic potential energy stores, calculations  *

Gravitational potential energy and calculations  *  Kinetic energy stores and calculations  *  Nuclear energy store

Thermal energy stores  *  Light energy  * Sound energy  * Magnetic energy stores

Renewable energy (1) Wind power and solar power, advantages and disadvantages gcse physics revision notes

See also Renewable energy - biomass - biofuels & alternative fuels, hydrogen, biogas, biodiesel gcse chemistry notes

The Usefulness of Electricity gcse physics electricity revision notes

and The 'National Grid' power supply, mention of small scale supplies, transformers gcse physics notes

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