What is Energy Heating?
When we talk about energy heating, we often think of it in terms of how cold or hot something is. But while an object such as an iceberg will feel cold to us, in truth, it will contain a lot of heat energy. Therefore, while temperature measures how cold or hot something is, heat instead measures the amount of energy within. So, how does energy heating work and how can it make heating more efficient and sustainable? Here is everything you need to know about energy heating.
What Is Kinetic Energy?
Within each object there are molecules moving around and bumping into each other. This process is referred to as kinetic energy. As the object or substance heats up, the faster the molecules move around. Eventually the heat will cause the molecules to break apart, turning solids to liquids and liquids to gas. On the opposite scale, freezing an object or substance will cause the molecules to move slower and become closer together. This is the process that turns liquid into ice, and at certain temperatures, gas into liquid. Because it is virtually impossible to reach absolute freezing temperatures, all objects retain a certain amount of kinetic energy. Therefore, as cold as an iceberg is, it can contain a lot of heating energy due to its massive size.
How Does Heat Transfer?
Another aspect of energy heating to discuss is the concept of entropy, or the second law of thermodynamics. Basically, heat will always flow from hot temperatures to cold ones. This is why ice melts on warm days, or hot coffee cools at room temperature. We can recognise this when trying to heat our homes in winter: the colder it is outside, the more heat escapes, in turn this leads to more energy usage and higher bills. To reduce this, we need to understand the three types of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation. Conduction is where heat flows from a hotter solid object to a colder one. Convection is where heat circulates through a liquid or gas until the cold air or liquid is replaced. Radiation is where heat is carried directly to you through electromagnetism, such as the sun’s rays.
How Understanding Heat Energy Helps
Looking at heat energy and transfer shows us how to effectively use energy heating to heat our homes. Solids such as metals tend to have low heat capacities, meaning convection takes place, but they do not retain heat for long. Therefore, choosing a metal like copper for conducting heat works well. Water has a high level of heat capacity compared to air, which works well for convection. Finally, insulation can help prevent the escape of heat through convection or radiation. As such, this type of energy works best for industries and homes that want to be more efficient when it comes to heating and cooling.
For over 40 years, Thermal Integration have been the market leader when it comes to efficient heating solutions. Now trading as HEATWEB, we offer a range of heating services including free calculators, training and more. To find out more about our range of services, we invite you to get in touch with us today.