Electrical Energy to Thermal Energy Conversions Examples

Electrical Energy to Thermal Energy Conversions
Electrical energy is a form of energy that occurs as a result of either stored or moving charged particles. When the energy is stored it is called electric potential energy and when it is moving in an electric current it is a form of kinetic energy. Our most common form of electrical energy is found in our wall outlets. Thermal energy is energy that results from moving atoms or molecules and is commonly referred to as heat. The faster the atoms or molecules move, the more heat or thermal energy they have. In these examples we will be exploring instances where electrical energy is converted into thermal energy for use.
Examples of Electrical Energy to Thermal Energy Conversions:

1. A toaster draws electric current (electrical energy) from a wall outlet and converts these moving electric charges into heat (thermal energy) in the filaments that turn red hot to cook your toast.

2. An electric clothes dryer turns electrical energy from a wall outlet into heat (thermal energy) to dry your clothes as they spin.

3. A hair straightener turns the electrical energy from a wall outlet into heat (thermal energy).

4. As electricity runs through the filaments in a space heater, the electrical energy is converted into heat (thermal energy).

5. An electric stove plugged into a wall outlet uses the electrical energy to flow into the burners on the stove top and as the electric charges pass through the burners the electrical energy is converted into thermal energy.

6. Although used for light, an incandescent light bulb produces mostly thermal energy (they get very hot) as it turns electrical energy into light by passing the electric charges through a very tiny filament.

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