Conservation of Energy

Energy can be utilized but not consumed.^ It is a law of nature that energy is conserved. We degrade or randomize energy, just as we randomize mineral resources when we process ores into metal and then discard the product as we do, for example, with used aluminum cans. All energy we use goes into heat and is eventually radiated out into space.

The consumable is not energy; it is the fact that energy has not yet been randomized. The degree of randomization of energy is measured by the entropy of the energy. This is discussed in some detail in Chapter 2.

tIt is convenient to distinguish consumption from utilization. Consumption implies destruction—when oil is consumed, it disappears, being transformed mainly into carbon dioxide and water, yielding heat. On the other hand, energy is never consumed; it is utilized but entirely conserved (only the entropy is increased).

(Direct reflection Direct conversion to heat Evaporation of water Wind & waves Photosynthesis

Tides

{Volcanos & hot springs

Rock conduction

Figure 1.1 Planetary energy balance.

52, 000

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

Solar Stirling Engine Basics Explained

The solar Stirling engine is progressively becoming a viable alternative to solar panels for its higher efficiency. Stirling engines might be the best way to harvest the power provided by the sun. This is an easy-to-understand explanation of how Stirling engines work, the different types, and why they are more efficient than steam engines.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment