Thermal energy


The thermal energy refers to all energy particles that make up a body. Several physical processes intervene within it, such as the increase in temperature or its decrease, oscillation or decrease, the name given to these processes is: heat. For its part, thermal energy, also called thermoelectric energy , is activated when caloric processes intervene that act when two different parts enter, which in turn have different temperatures, which collide with each other, generating the body-to-body transmission of temperatures, thus causing energy is generated.


What is thermical energy?

Thermal energy has several names, heat energy , or also heat energy ; It is known as the presentation of energy in the form of heat . It starts with the bases on the atoms that are found as a molecule in the different materials, which are always in constant motion, which produces a kinetic energy in them to what physicists determine as heat, that is, thermal energy.

  • What does it consist of
  • Characteristics of thermal energy
  • History
  • What is it for
  • Where is the thermal energy obtained from?
  • How is it obtained
  • How does it work
  • Advantage
  • Disadvantages
  • Importance
  • The use of thermal energy in the countries

What does it consist of

The thermal energy is defined as an internal energy within a simple system of thermodynamics , this is in complete balance what defines its temperature absolute as this it is increasing or decreasing in temperature by the effect of the transfer body to body.


The scientists who have studied about it claim that  at the microscopic level within the field of kinetic energy , it is credited with generating energy to the movements of atoms and particles due to agitation thereof.

Characteristics of thermal energy

  • Thermal energy is a part that makes up any object.
  • The Joule is the measure that is used within the area of thermal energy.
  • It differs from other energies so it is difficult to convert it to another energetic form.
  • The thermal energy is closely related to temperature
  • When this energy is transferred from one object to another it is called heat.
  • The fastest way to spread heat is through metals by a method called conduction.


It is for 1807 when the term ” energy ” is established , however, for 1852 it is when Lord Kevin establishes the concept.

Its origin dates from the works of  Rudolph Clausius  and  William Rankine , in the middle of the 19th century, which over time replaced previous works regarding internal energy, intrinsic energy or internal molecule work. After them, it is James Prescott Joule who introduces the definition of latent and sensible heat in terms of physics .

What is it for

Thermal energy can play roles in the energy field, since it can be transformed using a heat engine and destined for an energy conversion plant or a thermoelectric plant, thus adapting it for human consumption.

At the same time it can also be used in mechanical work or in vehicles powered by an engine such as ships and trains.

Where is the thermal energy obtained from?

  • The most common way of obtaining energy is from nature, more specifically geothermal energy or solar thermal energy.
  • Subjecting the elements to chemical processes so that an internal reaction takes place.
  • Another method that is often used is exothermic reactions , generated for example in some fossil fuels such as coal.
  • The most complex way to generate it is through the nuclear fusion energy reaction . Making the most of the heat of each altered atom.
  • By friction and agitation processes promoted by mechanical methods.

How is it obtained

Despite the fact that there are several places from which thermal energy is obtained, there are very few methods of obtaining it and mostly quite expensive, since they must be processed by thermal engines , as is the case with engines that work with boilers. for example that of the trains of past centuries, or thermal plants that are responsible for extracting and converting electrical energy.

For its part, solar energy is one of the best thermal energies, however, due to the high costs of assembling all the photosynthetic cells and the conversion circuit is very little used.

How does it work

The atoms that are within a material are always forming different molecules with which they are always in motion, or are in constant vibration, for this reason the atoms are charged with a kinetic energy that in matter is what is considered as energy thermal.

That means that the greater the movement, the higher the temperature, the more energy, however, it does not always present an increase because phase changes also intervene , such as solid, liquid, gas. For example, if we heat a little water and we give it thermal energy, it will increase its temperature but when it reaches its boiling point it will change phase, from liquid to gaseous and therefore, it will stop increasing its temperature.


Thermal energy is of great benefit since we would have another source of electrical energy , for example without affecting the environment , coupled with this in turn depends on where we obtain the energy, a completely renewable method.


Due to the high costs of the equipment to obtain this type of energy, it is very difficult for this energy to end up replacing electrical energy; there are also cases in which the methods of obtaining or the form of the energy affect the environment. , for example in the case of obtaining by nuclear reaction in which radiation is generated and affects the earth.


This energy is one of the methods that countries should evaluate to change their electrical systems , and thus increase the longevity of the earth as long as taking into account the way in which this energy is produced so as not to affect and promote pollution.

The use of thermal energy in the countries

Countries such as the United States , England, Italy and Germany are beginning to apply these methods of obtaining energy, mostly through photosynthetic cells, taking advantage of the sun’s rays to supply fields and towns. Vehicles that apply the same system as a drive method are also beginning to be developed.

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