What is basic energy and what are its form?

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Energy is the ability to do work and work is the transfer of energy from one form to another. In practical terms, energy is what we use to manipulate the world around us, whether by exciting our muscles, by using electricity or by using mechanical devices such as automobiles.
Basics of Energy and its various forms: Electricity basics - DC & AC currents,
Electricity tariff, Load management and Maximum demand control, Power factor.
Thermal basics -Fuels, Thermal energy contents of fuel, Temperature & Pressure, Heat
capacity, Sensible and Latent heat, Evaporation, Condensation, Steam, Moist air and
Humidity & Heat transfer, Units and conversion.
2.1 Definition
Energy is the ability to do work and work is the transfer of energy from one form to another. In
practical terms, energy is what we use to manipulate the world around us, whether by exciting
our muscles, by using electricity, or by using mechanical devices such as automobiles. Energy
comes in different forms - heat (thermal), light (radiant), mechanical, electrical, chemical, and
nuclear energy.
2.2 Various Forms of Energy
There are two types of energy - stored (potential) energy and working (kinetic) energy. For
example, the food we eat contains chemical energy, and our body stores this energy until we
release it when we work or play.
2.2.1 Potential Energy
Potential energy is stored energy and the energy of position (gravitational). It exists in various
Chemical Energy
Chemical energy is the energy stored in the bonds of atoms and molecules. Biomass, petrole-
um, natural gas, propane and coal are examples of stored chemical energy.
Nuclear Energy
Nuclear energy is the energy stored in the nucleus of an atom - the energy that holds the nucle-
us together. The nucleus of a uranium atom is an example of nuclear energy.
Stored Mechanical Energy
Stored mechanical energy is energy stored in objects by the application of a force. Compressed
springs and stretched rubber bands are examples of stored mechanical energy.
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2. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
Gravitational Energy
Gravitational energy is the energy of place or position. Water in a reservoir behind a hydropow-
er dam is an example of gravitational energy. When the water is released to spin the turbines, it
becomes motion energy.
2.2.2 Kinetic Energy
Kinetic energy is energy in motion- the motion of waves, electrons, atoms, molecules and sub-
stances. It exists in various forms.
Radiant Energy
Radiant energy is electromagnetic energy that travels in transverse waves. Radiant energy
includes visible light, x-rays, gamma rays and radio waves. Solar energy is an example of radi-
ant energy.
Thermal Energy
Thermal energy (or heat) is the internal energy in substances- the vibration and movement of
atoms and molecules within substances. Geothermal energy is an example of thermal energy.
The movement of objects or substances from one place to another is motion. Wind and
hydropower are examples of motion.
Sound is the movement of energy through substances in longitudinal (compression/rarefaction)
Electrical Energy
Electrical energy is the movement of electrons. Lightning and electricity are examples of elec-
trical energy.
2.2.3 Energy Conversion
Energy is defined as "the ability to do work." In this sense, examples of work include moving
something, lifting something, warming something, or lighting something. The following is an
example of the transformation of different types of energy into heat and power.
Oil burns to generate heat -->
Heat boils water -->
Water turns to steam --> More the number of
Steam pressure turns a turbine --> conversion stages, lesser
Turbine turns an electric generator --> the overall energy
Generator produces electricity -->
Electricity powers light bulbs -->
Light bulbs give off light and heat
It is difficult to imagine spending an entire day without using energy. We use energy to light our
cities and homes, to power machinery in factories, cook our food, play music, and operate our
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3. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
2.2.4 Grades of Energy
High-Grade Energy
Electrical and chemical energy are high-grade energy, because the energy is concentrated in a
small space. Even a small amount of electrical and chemical energy can do a great amount of
work. The molecules or particles that store these forms of energy are highly ordered and com-
pact and thus considered as high grade energy. High-grade energy like electricity is better used
for high grade applications like melting of metals rather than simply heating of water.
Low-Grade Energy
Heat is low-grade energy. Heat can still be used to do work (example of a heater boiling water),
but it rapidly dissipates. The molecules, in which this kind of energy is stored (air and water
molecules), are more randomly distributed than the molecules of carbon in a coal. This disor-
dered state of the molecules and the dissipated energy are classified as low-grade energy.
2.3 Electrical Energy Basics
Electric current is divided into two types: Directional Current (DC) and Alternating Current
Directional (Direct) Current
A non-varying, unidirectional electric current (Example: Current produced by batteries)
• Direction of the flow of positive and negative charges does not change with time
• Direction of current (direction of flow for positive charges) is constant with time
• Potential difference (voltage) between two points of the circuit does not change polarity
with time
Alternating Current
A current which reverses in regularly recurring intervals of time and which has alternately pos-
itive and negative values, and occurring a specified number of times per second. (Example:
Household electricity produced by generators, Electricity supplied by utilities.)
· Direction of the current reverses periodically with time
· Voltage (tension) between two points of the circuit changes polarity with time.
· In 50 cycle AC, current reverses direction 100 times a second (two times during onecycle)
Ampere (A)
Current is the rate of flow of charge. The ampere is the basic unit of electric current. It is that
current which produces a specified force between two parallel wires, which are 1 metre apart
in a vacuum.
Voltage (V)
The volt is the International System of Units (SI) measure of electric potential or electromo-
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4. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
tive force. A potential of one volt appears across a resistance of one ohm when a current of one
ampere flows through that resistance.
1000 V = 1 kiloVolts (kV)
Resistance =
The unit of resistance is ohm (Ω)
Ohm' Law
Ohm's law states that the current through a conductor is directly proportional to the potential
difference across it, provided the temperature and other external conditions remain constant.
The supply frequency tells us the cycles at which alternating current changes. The unit of fre-
quency is hertz (Hz :cycles per second).
Kilovolt Ampere (kVA)
It is the product of kilovolts and amperes. This measures the electrical load on a circuit or sys-
tem. It is also called the apparent power.
Voltage x Amperes
For a single phase electrical circuit , Apparent power (kVA) =
3 x Voltage x Amperes
For a three phase electrical circuit , Apparent power (kVA) =
kVAr (Reactive Power)
kVAr is the reactive power. Reactive power is the portion of apparent power that does no work.
This type of power must be supplied to all types of magnetic equipment, such as motors, trans-
formers etc. Larger the magnetizing requirement, larger the kVAr.
Kilowatt (kW) (Active Power)
kW is the active power or the work-producing part of apparent power.
Voltage x Amperes x Power factor
For sin gle phase, Power ( kW ) =
1.732 x Voltage x Amperes x Power factor
For Three phase, Power ( kW ) =
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5. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
Power Factor
Power Factor (PF) is the ratio between the active power (kW) and apparent power (kVA).
When current lags the voltage like in inductive loads, it is called lagging power factor and when
current leads the voltage like in capacitive loads, it is called leading power factor.
Inductive loads such as induction motors, transformers, discharge lamp, etc. absorb com-
paratively more lagging reactive power (kVAr) and hence, their power factor is poor. Lower the
power factor; electrical network is loaded with more current. It would be advisable to have
highest power factor (close to 1) so that network carries only active power which does real
work. PF improvement is done by installing capacitors near the load centers, which improve
power factor from the point of installation back to the generating station.
Kilowatt-hour (kWh)
Kilowatt-hour is the energy consumed by 1000 Watts in one hour. If 1kW (1000 watts) of a elec-
trical equipment is operated for 1 hour, it would consume 1 kWh of energy (1 unit of electrici-
For a company, it is the amount of electrical units in kWh recorded in the plant over a month
for billing purpose. The company is charged / billed based on kWh consumption.
Electricity Tariff
Calculation of electric bill for a company
Electrical utility or power supplying companies charge industrial customers not only based on
the amount of energy used (kWh) but also on the peak demand (kVA) for each month.
Contract Demand
Contract demand is the amount of electric power that a customer demands from utility in a spec-
ified interval. Unit used is kVA or kW. It is the amount of electric power that the consumer
agreed upon with the utility. This would mean that utility has to plan for the specified capacity.
Maximum demand
Maximum demand is the highest average kVA recorded during any one-demand interval with-
in the month. The demand interval is normally 30 minutes, but may vary from utility to utility
from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. The demand is measured using a tri-vector meter / digital ener-
gy meter.
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6. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
Prediction of Load
While considering the methods of load prediction, some of the terms used in connection with
power supply must be appreciated.
Connected Load - is the nameplate rating (in kW or kVA) of the apparatus installed on a con-
sumer's premises.
Demand Factor - is the ratio of maximum demand to the connected load.
Load Factor - The ratio of average load to maximum load.
Average Load
Load Factor =
Maximum Load
The load factor can also be defined as the ratio of the energy consumed during a given period
to the energy, which would have been used if the maximum load had been maintained through-
out that period. For example, load factor for a day (24 hours) will be given by:
Energy consumed during 24 hours
Load Factor =
Maximum load recorded x 24 Hours
PF Measurement
A power analyzer can measure PF directly, or alternately kWh, kVAh or kVArh readings are
recorded from the billing meter installed at the incoming point of supply. The relation kWh /
kVAh gives the power factor.
Time of Day (TOD) Tariff
Many electrical utilities
like to have flat
demand curve to
achieve high plant effi-
ciency. They encourage
user to draw more
power during off-peak
hours (say during night
time) and less power
during peak hours. As
per their plan, they
offer TOD Tariff,
which may be incen-
tives or disincentives.
Energy meter will
record peak and non-
peak consumption sep-
arately by timer con-
trol. TOD tariff gives
opportunity for the user to reduce their billing, as off peak hour tariff charged are quite low in
comparison to peak hour tariff.
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7. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
Three phase AC power measurement
Most of the motive drives such as pumps, compressors, machines etc. operate with 3 phase AC
Induction motor. Power consumption can be determined by using the relation.
Power = √3 x V x I x CosΦ
Portable power analysers /instruments are available for measuring all electrical parameters.
A 3-phase AC induction motor (20 kW capacity) is used for pumping operation. Electrical
parameter such as current, volt and power factor were measured with power analyzer. Find
energy consumption of motor in one hour? (line volts. = 440 V, line current = 25 amps and PF
= 0.90).
Energy consumption = √ 3 x 0.440 (kV) x 25(A) x 0.90(PF) x 1(hour) = 17.15 kWh
Motor loading calculation
The nameplate details of motor, kW or HP indicate the output parameters of the motor at full
load. The voltage, amps and PF refer to the rated input parameters at full load.
A three phase,10 kW motor has the name plate details as 415 V, 18.2 amps and 0.9 PF. Actual
input measurement shows 415 V, 12 amps and 0.7 PF which was measured with power analyz-
er during motor running.
Rated output at full load = 10 kW
Rated input at full load = 1.732 x 0.415 x 18.2 x 0.9 = 11.8 kW
The rated efficiency of motor at full load = (10 x 100) / 11.8 = 85%
Measured (Actual) input power = 1.732x 0.415 x 12x 0.7 = 6.0 kW
Measured kW 6 .0
Motor loading % = x 100 = x 100 = 51.2 %
Rated kW 11.8
Which applications use single-phase power in an industry?
Single-phase power is mostly used for lighting, fractional HP motors and electric heater appli-
Example :
A 400 Watt mercury vapor lamp was switched on for 10 hours per day. The supply volt is 230
V. Find the power consumption per day? (Volt = 230 V, Current = 2 amps, PF = 0.8)
Electricity consumption (kWh) = V x I x Cos x No of Hours
= 0.230 x 2 x 0.8 x 10 = 3.7 kWh or Units
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8. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
Example :
An electric heater of 230 V, 5 kW rating is used for hot water generation in an industry. Find
electricity consumption per hour (a) at the rated voltage (b) at 200 V
(a) Electricity consumption (kWh) at rated voltage = 5 kW x 1 hour = 5 kWh.
(b) Electricity consumption at 200 V (kWh) = (200 / 230)2 x 5 kW x 1 hour = 3.78 kWh.
2.4 Thermal Energy Basics
Temperature and Pressure
Temperature and pressure are measures of the physical state of a substance. They are closely
related to the energy contained in the substance. As a result, measurements of temperature and
pressure provide a means of determining energy content.
It is the degree of hotness or coldness measured on a definite scale. Heat is a form of energy;
temperature is a measure of its thermal effects. In other words, temperature is a means of deter-
mining sensible heat content of the substance
In the Celsius scale the freezing point of water is 0°C and the boiling point of water is 100°C
at atmospheric pressure.
To change temperature given in Fahrenheit (°F) to Celsius (°C)
Start with (°F); subtract 32; multiply by 5; divide by 9; the answer is (°C)
To change temperature given in Celsius (°C) to Fahrenheit (°F)
Start with (°C); multiply by 9; divide by 5; add on 32; the answer is (°F)
°C = (°F - 32) x 5/9
It is the force per unit area applied to outside of a body. When we heat a gas in a confined space,
we create more force; a pressure increase. For example, heating the air inside a balloon will
cause the balloon to stretch as the pressure increases.
Pressure, therefore, is also indicative of stored energy. Steam at high pressures contains
much more energy than at low pressures.
Heat is a form of energy, a distinct and measurable property of all matter. The quantity of heat
depends on the quantity and type of substance involved.
Unit of Heat
Calorie is the unit for measuring the quantity of heat. It is the quantity of heat, which can raise
the temperature of 1 g of water by 1°C.
Calorie is too small a unit for many purposes. Therefore, a bigger unit Kilocalorie (1 Kilocalorie
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9. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
= 1000 calories) is used to measure heat. 1 kilocalorie can raise the temperature of 1000g (i.e.
1kg) of water by 1°C.
However, nowadays generally joule as the unit of heat energy is used. It is the internation-
ally accepted unit. Its relationship with calorie is as follows:
1 Calorie = 4.187 J
Specific Heat
If the same amount of heat energy is supplied to equal quantities of water and milk, their tem-
perature goes up by different amounts. This property is called the specific heat of a substance
and is defined as the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of 1kg of a substance
through 1°C.
The specific heat of water is very high as compared to other common substances; it takes a
lot of heat to raise the temperature of water. Also, when water is cooled, it gives out a large
quantity of heat.
Substance Specific Heat (Joules / kg °C)
Lead 130
Mercury 140
Brass 380
Copper 390
Iron 470
Glass 670
Aluminium 910
Rubber 1890
Ice 2100
Alcohol 2400
Water 4200
Sensible heat
It is that heat which when added or subtracted results in a change of temperature.
Quantity of Heat
The quantity of heat, Q, supplied to a substance to increase its temperature by t°C depends on
– mass of the substance (m)
– increase in temperature (∆t)
– specific heat of the substance (Cp)
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10. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
The quantity of heat is given by:
Q = mass x specific heat x increase in temperature
Q = m x Cp x ∆t
Phase Change
The change of state from the solid state to a liquid state is called fusion. The fixed temperature
at which a solid changes into a liquid is called its melting point.
The change of a state from a liquid state to a gas is called vaporization.
Latent heat of fusion
The latent heat of fusion of a substance is the quantity of heat required to convert 1kg solid to
liquid state without change of temperature. It is represented by the symbol L. Its unit is Joule
per kilogram (J/Kg)
Thus, L (ice) = 336000 J/kg,
Latent Heat of Vaporization
The latent heat of vaporization of a substance is the quantity of heat required to change 1kg of
the substance from liquid to vapour state without change of temperature. It is also denoted by
the symbol L and its unit is also J/kg. The latent heat of vaporization of water is 22,60,000 J/kg.
When 1 kg of steam at 100°C condenses to form water at 100°C, it gives out 2260 kJ (540
kCals) of heat. Steam gives out more heat than an equal amount of boiling water because of its
latent heat.
Latent heat
It is the change in heat content of a substance, when its physical state is changed without a
change in temperature.
Super Heat
The heating of vapour, particularly saturated steam to a temperature much higher than the boil-
ing point at the existing pressure. This is done in power plants to improve efficiency and to
avoid condensation in the turbine.
The moisture content of air is referred to as humidity and may be expressed in two ways: spe-
cific humidity and relative humidity.
Specific Humidity
It is the actual weight of water vapour mixed in a kg of dry air.
Humidity Factor
Humidity factor = kg of water per kg of dry air (kg/kg).
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11. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
Relative Humidity (RH)
It is the measure of degree of saturation of the air at any dry-bulb (DB) temperature. Relative
humidity given as a percentage is the actual water content of the air divided by the moisture
content of fully saturated air at the existing temperature.
Dew Point
It is the temperature at which condensation of water vapour from the air begins as the temper-
ature of the air-water vapour mixture falls.
Dry bulb Temperature
It is an indication of the sensible heat content of air-water vapour mixtures.
Wet bulb Temperature
It is a measure of total heat content or enthalpy. It is the temperature approached by the dry bulb
and the dew point as saturation occurs.
Dew Point Temperature
It is a measure of the latent heat content of air-water vapour mixtures and since latent heat is a
function of moisture content, the dew point temperature is determined by the moisture content.
Fuel Density
Density is the ratio of the mass of the fuel to the volume of the fuel at a stated temperature.
Specific gravity of fuel
The density of fuel, relative to water, is called specific gravity. The specific gravity of water is
defined as 1. As it is a ratio there are no units. Higher the specific gravity, higher will be the
heating values.
The viscosity of a fluid is a measure of its internal resistance to flow. All liquid fuels decrease
in viscosity with increasing temperature
Calorific Value
Energy content in an organic matter (Calorific Value) can be measured by burning it and mea-
suring the heat released. This is done by placing a sample of known mass in a bomb calorime-
ter, a device that is completely sealed and insulated to prevent heat loss. A thermometer is
placed inside (but it can be read from the outside) and the increase in temperature after the sam-
ple is burnt completely is measured. From this data, energy content in the organic matter can be
found out.
The heating value of fuel is the measure of the heat released during the complete combus-
tion of unit weight of fuel. It is expressed as Gross Calorific Value (GCV) or Net Calorific Value
(NCV). The difference between GCV and NCV is the heat of vaporization of the moisture and
atomic hydrogen (conversion to water vapour) in the fuel. Typical GCV and NCV for heavy fuel
oil are 10,500 kcal/kg and 9,800 kcal/kg.
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12. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
Heat Transfer
Heat will always be transferred from higher temperature to lower temperature independent of
the mode. The energy transferred is measured in Joules (kcal or Btu). The rate of energy trans-
fer, more commonly called heat transfer, is measured in Joules/second (kcal/hr or Btu/hr).
Heat is transferred by three primary modes:
o Conduction (Energy transfer in a solid)
o Convection (Energy transfer in a fluid)
o Radiation (Does not need a material to travel through)
The conduction of heat takes place, when two bodies are in contact with one another. If one
body is at a higher temperature than the other, the motion of the molecules in the hotter body
will vibrate the molecules at the point of contact in the cooler body and consequently result in
increase in temperature.
The amount of heat transferred by conduction depends upon the temperature difference, the
properties of the material involved, the thickness of the material, the surface contact area, and
the duration of the transfer.
Good conductors of heat are typically substances that are dense as they have molecules
close together. This allows the molecular agitation process to permeate the substance easily. So,
metals are good conductors of heat, while gaseous substance, having low densities or widely
spaced molecules, are poor conductors of heat. Poor conductors of heat are usually called insu-
The measure of the ability of a substance to insulate is its thermal resistance. This is com-
monly referred to as the R-value (RSI in metric). The R-value is generally the inverse of the
thermal conductivity, the ability to conduct heat.
Typical units of measure for conductive heat transfer are:
Per unit area (for a given thickness)
Metric (SI) : Watt per square meter (W/m2 )
Metric (SI) : Watt (W) or kilowatts (kW)
The transfer of heat by convection involves the movement of a fluid such as a gas or liquid from
the hot to the cold portion. There are two types of convection: natural and forced.
In case of natural convection, the fluid in contact with or adjacent to a high temperature
body is heated by conduction. As it is heated, it expands, becomes less dense and consequent-
ly rises. This begins a fluid motion process in which a circulating current of fluid moves past
the heated body, continuously transferring heat away from it.
In the case of forced convection, the movement of the fluid is forced by a fan, pump or other
external means. A centralized hot air heating system is a good example of forced convection.
Convection depends on the thermal properties of the fluid as well as surface conditions at
the body and other factors that affect the ability of the fluid to flow. With a low conductivity
fluid such as air, a rough surface can trap air against the surface reducing the conductive heat
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13. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
transfer and consequently reducing the convective currents.
Units of measure for rate of convective heat transfer are:
Metric (SI) : Watt (W) or kilowatts (kW)
Thermal Radiation
Thermal radiation is a process in which energy is transferred by electromagnetic waves similar
to light waves. These waves may be both visible (light) and invisible. A very common example
of thermal radiation is a heating element on a heater. When the heater element is first switched
on, the radiation is invisible, but you can feel the warmth it radiates. As the element heats, it
will glow orange and some of the radiation is now visible. The hotter the element, the brighter
it glows and the more radiant energy it emits.
The key processes in the interaction of a substance with thermal radiation are:
Absorption the process by which radiation enters a body and
becomes heat
Transmission the process by which radiation passes through a body
Reflection the process by which radiation is neither absorbed or transmitted
through the body; rather it bounces off
Objects receive thermal radiation when they are struck by electromagnetic waves, thereby
agitating the molecules and atoms. More agitation means more energy and a higher tempera-
ture. Energy is transferred to one body from another without contact or transporting medium
such as air or water. In fact, thermal radiation heat transfer is the only form of heat transfer pos-
sible in a vacuum.
All bodies emit a certain amount of radiation. The amount depends upon the body's tem-
perature and nature of its surface. Some bodies only emit a small amount of radiant energy for
their temperature, commonly called low emissivity materials (abbreviated low-E). Low-E win-
dows are used to control the heat radiation in and out of buildings. Windows can be designed
to reflect, absorb and transmit different parts of the sun's radiant energy.
The condition of a body's surface will determine the amount of thermal radiation that is
absorbed, reflected or re-emitted. Surfaces that are black and rough, such as black iron, will
absorb and re-emit almost all the energy that strikes them. Polished and smooth surfaces will
not absorb, but reflect, a large part of the incoming radiant energy.
Typical units of measure for rate of radiant heat transfer
Metric (SI) Watt per square meter (W/m2)
The change by which any substance is converted from a liquid state and carried off as vapour.
Example: People are cooled by evaporation of perspiration from the skin and refrigeration is
accomplished by evaporating the liquid refrigerant. Evaporation is a cooling process.
The change by which any substance is converted from a gaseous state to liquid state.
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14. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
Example: Condensation on the other hand is a heating process. As molecules of vapour con-
dense and become liquid, their latent heat of vapourisation evidences itself again as sensible
heat, indicated by a rise in temperature. This heating effect of condensation is what causes the
considerable rise in atmospheric temperature often noted as fog forms and as rain or snow
begins to fall.
Steam has been a popular mode of conveying energy, since the industrial revolution. The fol-
lowing characteristics of steam make it so popular and useful to the industry:
• High specific heat and latent heat
• High heat transfer coefficient
• Easy to control and distribute
• Cheap and inert
Steam is used for generating power and also used in process industries, such as, sugar,
paper, fertilizer, refineries, petrochemicals, chemical, food, synthetic fibre and textiles. In the
process industries, the high pressure steam produced in the boiler, is first expanded in a steam
turbine for generating power. The extraction or bleed from the turbine, which are generally at
low pressure, are used for the process. This method of producing power, by using the steam gen-
erated for process in the boiler, is called "Cogeneration."
How to read a Steam Table?
Select the pressure and temperature of the steam at which you want to find the enthalpy. Read
the intersection of pressure and temperature for enthalpy (Heat content in the steam)
First law of Thermodynamics
It states that energy may be converted from one form to another, but it is never lost from the
Second Law of Thermodynamics
• In any conversion of energy from one form to another, some amount of energy will be dis
sipated as heat.
• Thus no energy conversion is 100 % efficient.
• This principle is used in energy equipment efficiency calculations.
Law of Conservation of Matter
• In any physical or chemical change, matter is neither created nor destroyed, but it may be
changed from one form to another.
• For example, if a sample of coal were burnt in an enclosed chamber, carbon in coal would
end up as CO2 in the air inside the chamber; In fact, for every carbon atom there would be
one carbon dioxide molecule in the combustion products (each of which has one carbon
atom). So the carbon atoms would be conserved, and so would every other atom. Thus, no
matter would be lost during this conversion of the coal into heat.
• This principle is used in energy and material balance calculations
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15. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
2.5 Units and Conversions
The energy units are wide and varied. The usage of units varies with country, industry sector,
systems such as FPS, CGS, MKS and SI, and also with generations of earlier period using FPS
and recent generations using MKS. Even technology/equipment suppliers adopt units that are
different from the one being used by the user of that technology/equipment. For example some
compressor manufacturers specify output in m3/min while some specify in cubic feet/minute or
even in litres/second. All this cause confusion and hence the need for this chapter on units and
Energy Units
1 barrel of oil = 42 U.S. gallons (gal) = 0.16 cubic meters (m3)
1 MW 1,000 kW
1 kW 1,000 Watts
1 kWh 3,412 Btu
1 kWh 1.340 Hp hours
1,000 Btu 0.293 kWh
1 Therm 100,000 Btu (British Thermal Units)
1 Million Btu 293.1 Kilowatt hours
100,000 Btu 1 Therm
1 Watt 3.412 Btu per hour
1 Horsepower 746 Watts or 0.746 Kilo Watts
1 Horsepower hr. 2,545 Btu
1 kJ 0.239005 Kilocalories
1 Calorie 4.187 Joules
1 kcal/Kg 1.8 Btu's/lb.
1 Million Btu 252 Mega calories
1 Btu 252 Calories
1 Btu 1,055 Joules
1 Btu/lb. 2.3260 kJ/kg
1 Btu/lb. 0.5559 Kilocalories/kg
Power (Energy Rate) Equivalents
1 kilowatt (kW) 1 kilo joule /second (kJ/s)
1 kilowatt (kW) 3413 BTU/hour (Btu/hr.)
1 horsepower (hp) 746 watts (0.746 kW)
1 Ton of refrigeration 12000 Btu/hr.
Gauge pressure is defined relative to the prevailing atmospheric pressure (101.325 kPa at sea
level), or as absolute pressure:
Absolute Pressure = Gauge Pressure + Prevailing Atmospheric Pressure
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16. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
Units of measure of pressure:
Metric (SI) : kilopascals (kPa)
1 pascal (Pa) = 1 Newton/m2 (N/m2 )
1 physical atmosphere (atm) = 101325 Pa = 760 mm of mercury (mm Hg)
= 14.69 lb-force/in2 (psi)
1 technical atmosphere (ata) = 1 kilogram-force/cm2 (kg/cm2)= 9.806650 × 104 Pa
1 W = 1 J/s = 0.9478×10-3 Btu/s = 3.41214 Btu/hr
Fuel to kWh (Approximate conversion)
Natural gas M3 x 10.6 kWh
Ft3 x 0.3 kWh
therms x 29.3 kWh
LPG (propane) m3 x 25 kWh
Coal kg x 8.05 kWh
Coke kg x 10.0 kWh
Gas oil litres x 12.5 kWh
Light fuel oil litres x 12.9 kWh
Medium fuel oil litres x 13.1 kWh
Heavy fuel oil litres x 13.3 kWh
Prefixes for units in the International System
Prefix Symbol Power Example USA/Other
exa E 1018 quintillion
peta P 1015 pentagram (Pg) quadrillion/billiard
tera T 1012 terawatt (TW) trillion/billion
giga G 109 gigawatt (GW) billion/milliard
mega M 106 megawatt (MW) million
kilo k 103 kilogram (kg)
hecto h 102 hectoliter (hl)
deka da 101 dekagram (dag)
deci d 10-1 decimeter (dm)
centi c 10-2 centimeter (cm)
milli m 10-3 millimeter (mm)
micro µ 10-6 micrometer (µm)
nano n 10-9 nanosecond (ns)
pico p 10-12 picofarad (pf)
femto f 10-15 femtogram (fg)
atto a 10-18
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17. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
To: TJ Gcal Mtoe MBtu GWh
From: Multiply by:
TJ 1 238.8 2.388 x 10-5 947.8 0.2778
Gcal 4.1868 x 10-3 1 10-7 3.968 1.163 x 10-3
Mtoe 4.1868 x 104 107 1 3.968 x 107 11630
MBtu 1.0551 x 10-3 0.252 2.52 x 10-8 1 2.931 x 10-4
GWh 3.6 860 8.6 x 10-5 3412 1
To: kg t lt st lb
From: multiply by:
kilogram (kg) 1 0.001 9.84 x 10-4 1.102 x 10-3 2.2046
tonne (t) 1000 1 0.984 1.1023 2204.6
long ton (lt) 1016 1.016 1 1.120 2240.0
short ton (st) 907.2 0.9072 0.893 1 2000.0
pound (lb) 0.454 4.54 x 10-4 4.46 x 10-4 5.0 x 10-4 1
To: gal U.S. gal U.K. bbl ft3 l m3
From: multiply by:
U.S. gallon (gal) 1 0.8327 0.02381 0.1337 3.785 0.0038
U.K. gallon (gal) 1.201 1 0.02859 0.1605 4.546 0.0045
Barrel (bbl) 42.0 34.97 1 5.615 159.0 0.159
Cubic foot (ft3) 7.48 6.229 0.1781 1 28.3 0.0283
Litre (l) 0.2642 0.220 0.0063 0.0353 1 0.001
Cubic metre (m3) 264.2 220.0 6.289 35.3147 1000.0 1
Bureau of Energy Efficiency 52
18. 2. Basics of Energy and its Various Forms
1. Discuss one energy conversion activity with various losses occurring stage wise.
2. The reactive power is represented by
(a) kVA (b) kW (c) kVAr (d) PF
3. A fluorescent tube light consumes 40 W for the tube and 10 W for choke. If the
lamp operates for 8 hours a day for 300 days in a year, calculate the total energy cost
per annum if the energy cost is Rs.3/- per kWh
4. Power factor is the ratio of
(a) kW / kVA (b) kVA / kW (c) kVA / kVAr (d) kVAr / kV
5. Define the term load factor.
6. What do you understand by the term calorific value?
7. What are the three modes of heat transfer? Explain with examples?
8. Explain why steam is used commonly in industries?
9. If an electric heater consumes 4 kWh, what will be the equivalent kilocalories?
10. Why a cube of ice at 0oC is more effective in cooling a drink than the same quantity
of water at 0oC?
11. 10 kg of steam at 100oC with latent heat of vapourisation 2260 kJ is cooled to 50oC.
If the specific heat of water is 4200 J/kgoC, find the quantity of heat given out.
1. Energy Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, New York - V Daniel Hunt.
2. Cleaner Production – Energy Efficiency Manual for GERIAP, UNEP, Bangkok prepared
by National Productivity Council
Bureau of Energy Efficiency 53