11 Example Of Heat Energy To Mechanical Energy: Detailed Explanations

This article discusses about example of heat energy to mechanical energy. Energy can be defined as the power required to do a certain kind of activity.

Energy is an indestructible thing. It is a well known fact that it can neither be destroyed nor be created. It can only change its form from one to another. Here we will study about example of heat energy to mechanical energy.

Example of heat energy to mechanical energy

Energy has a special characteristic that it can not be created nor be destroyed. It is a universal fact. Also, we can see this in our daily lives that heat energy is being converted to mechanical energy and vice versa.

Let us see some examples of heat energy being converted to mechanical energy-

Internal Combustion engine

In internal combustion engines, the fuel is ignited. Ignition of fuel represents heat energy coming into action. The ignited fuel is responsible for movement of piston which in turn is responsible for rotating the crankshaft. This way the heat energy gets converted to mechanical energy.


A turbine rotates after steam passes through the turbine blades. The steam comes from the boiler where the liquid water gets converted into steam. This way the heat energy gets converted to mechanical energy.

Rocket engines

The rocket engines emit a huge amount of gases which help the rocket to propel upwards. This upward movement of rocket implies that the heat energy from the engines is getting converted to mechanical energy.

Steam engines

In earlier days, steam engines were used to run trains. The heat generated from burning of coal was used to run the engine. This way the locomotive used heat energy to generate mechanical energy.

Power plants

Power plants use a boiler which heats the liquid water, the water gets converted to steam and rotates the blades of turbine. This is how heat energy is converted to mechanical energy.

example of heat energy to mechanical energy
Image: Carnot engine

Image credits: Wikipedia

Thermal soaring

The atmosphere is unevenly heated. In the regions where temperature is more, the warm currents arise. These warm currents rise up. Birds use these warm currents to generate lift. This way heat energy is used to generate lift.

Geothermal energy

The Earth’s crust is full of hot molten rocks or magma. Due to this heat, the underground water gets heated and plunges out when the accumulated heat exceeds a threshold value. This heat is used for running a turbine which in turn generates electricity.

Pressure cooker

The heat inside the pressure cooker is responsible for the increased pressure inside the cooker. The cooker whistle rises up and allows the excess pressure to move out of the cooker. Rising up of the whistle in an example of mechanical energy. This is an example of heat energy being converted to mechanical energy.

Wind energy

The wind blows as a result of pressure difference as well as temperature differences between two places for instance at coastal regions, cold breeze flows during night and warm breeze flows on the land during day time.

Water currents

The warm currents tend to move in colder regions and vice versa. This produces the water to move from one place to another due to temperature difference.


In some fire crackers such as rockets and twisters, the heat energy is converted to mechanical energy. Twisters rotate after burning and rockets propel upwards.

What do you mean by energy?

An object requires energy to do work or a certain activity. Without energy we won’t be able to any activities or perform useful tasks.

The different forms of energy that we use to perform daily tasks are kinetic energy, potential energy, thermal energy etc.

Types of energy

Energy is broader term which simply means the capacity or ability to do work or a certain activity. It comes in many forms, these forms can exist in different system and can be converted to another forms of energy.

Let us see different types of energy. They are listed below-

  • Chemical energy– Chemical energy arises from the interaction of reactants in a chemical reaction. The formation of products emits some amount of energy.
  • Mechanical energy– Mechanical energy arises due to the object’s motion or position.
  • Heat/thermal energy- Temperature difference between two two systems gives rise to heat energy. Certain fuels are burnt to generate heat energy which later is converted to other forms of usable energy.
  • Nuclear energy- The atom is bind with the help of nuclear force. If we spit an atom, an immense amount of energy is released which is called as nuclear energy.
  • Electrical energy– The electrical energy arises due to flow of electrons.
  • Gravitational energy- This is a type of mechanical energy which arises due to the object’s height from the ground.

There are other forms of energy such as sound energy, spring energy but they can be listed in one of the sub types of above stated energies. For example spring energy is a type of elastic potential energy

What do you mean by heat energy?

Heat energy can be defined as a type of energy that flows between the two systems whose temperatures are different that is they have a temperature difference between them.

The quantity of heat energy transfer depends on the temperature difference between the systems, it follows a direct proportionality relation. The heat flows from the region of higher temperature to lower temperature. The heat flows until the systems come in thermal equilibrium that is they both attain the same temperature.

How does heat flow from one system to another?

As written in above section, heat will flow from a system which is at higher temperature to a system which is at lower temperature.

The heat will flow until the two systems attain thermal equilibrium that is until their temperatures become equal. When the heat flows, the system with higher temperature gets colder and the system with lower temperature gets hotter.

What do you mean by mechanical energy?

Mechanical energy is defined as a type of energy possessed by an object solely because of its motion or position.

Mechanical energy can be of many types. Broadly, it can be classified as potential energy and kinetic energy. We will read more about it in later sections of this article.

What are the types of mechanical energy?

The energy stored inside an object due to its position or motion is called as mechanical energy. There mainly two types of mechanical energy, they are-

  • Potential energy– This kind of mechanical energy exists in an object due to its position or to be more precise height. Greater the height of an object from the sea level, greater will be the potential energy stored inside the object.
  • Kinetic energy- As the name suggests, kinetic means something related to motion and mobility. The energy in an object which exists only because of its motion can be called as kinetic energy. It follows direct proportional relationship with mass of the object and square of velocity of that object.
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