19 Examples Of Electric Potential Energy: Detailed Facts


A beneficial mode of potential energy is electric potential energy which is essential in our daily lives.

Electronic devices are possessed with electric potential energy. Electric potential energy is essential for the conduction of electricity. Here are some examples of electric potential energy are discussed in this article.

Example of electric potential energy

examples of electric potential energy
Some examples of electric potential energy

Car’s headlight before turned on.

One of the examples of electric potential energy which is essential to drive at night is a car’s headlight.

Image credits: Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay 

Before turning on, the headlight stores the potential energy. Once the headlight is turned on, the charges in the headlight are triggered by the external force, and the stored potential energy of the charge is converted into light energy, which makes the headlight turn on.

Turned off the incandescent bulb

Incandescent bulbs are essential in our lives as they provide light at night. An incandescent bulbs are examples of electric potential energy.

When the incandescent bulb is turned off, the charges possess a large amount of potential energy. These charges are responsible for the conduction of electricity and to give light when it is turned on.

Television before it turned on

We can visualize the pictures on television is due to the electric potential energy. The television consists of a large number of charges which conduct electricity and makes the television on when it is switched on.

Before you turn on the television, the charges are at rest, and it is ready to conduct. These charges at stationary state are possessed with potential energy. Once you switch on the television, the potential energy is triggered by the external force and makes the charge conduct by losing the potential energy.

A turned-off washing machine.

The improvement in technology made our life perform the task efficiently. One such technology is a washing machine which is a convenient way to wash clothes. Washing machines are excellent examples of electric potential energy which uses electricity for their action.

When the washing machines are off, there are some static electric charges which have stored potential energy and are ready to do the work. When the machine is switched on, the stored potential energy does the work on the charges and makes the drum swirl, and the clothes are washed. Here potential energy possessed by the charges converts into kinetic energy and makes the motion of the washing drum.

Computer before it turned on

Computers are the advanced technology device that became much essential.

Image credits: Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay 

Computers require electricity for their operation; hence there are certain charges stored in the computer, so even if the electricity is cut off, the computer can run for some time. Before the computers are turned on, the stored charges possess potential energy. The potential energy possessed by the charge ready to do work on the system when it is turned on by flowing through the circuit of the computer. The flow of charges makes the computer turn on. Thus computers before turning on are examples of electric potential energy.

Vacuum cleaner when it is turned off.

Vacuum clears are used to clean the dust. It became one of the excellent examples of electric potential energy before it switched on.

When the vacuum cleaners are in the off state, the stationary charges gain a large amount of potential energy. when the vacuum cleaner is turned on, the potential energy is lost and the charges gains kinetic energy to complete the task. The movement of the charges creates a vacuum pressure to pick up the dust particles. It is essential to have potential energy, which provides the charge to trigger up and work.

A radio tower, while it is not working.

Radio towers are employed in telecommunication to transmit signal for radio and television. Most radio towers use electricity, so they could be great examples of electric potential energy.

Radio towers can be considered as examples of electric potential energy only when they are not working, i.e., in the off state because there will be a motion of the electric charges while the towers are working on broadcasting. When the tower is off or not working, the electric charges want some external force to push them to conduct. At that instance, the charges have acquired maximum potential energy.

Air conditioning system before turned on.

Air conditioning systems are used to set the temperature of the room. The air conditioners possess electric charges; hence these are also examples of electric potential energy.

Before turning on, the air conditioners are associated with the charges possess a large amount of potential energy. When the conditioner switches on, the potential energy is transformed into heat. Basically, it can increase or decrease the temperature as we set them.

Electric stove when it is turned off

Electric stoves are modern kitchen appliances used for cooking purposes.

The name itself suggests that it need electricity for their operation. When the stove is turned off, the charges gain potential energy. The gained potential energy will be lost when the stove is turned, and the lost potential energy is released in the form of heat, which is utilized by cooking.

Electric generator after turning on

Electric generators are used to generate electric power by using fuels. They works based on the principle of electromagnetic induction.

The electric generators are provided with a set of magnets and coils, such that, whenever the coil is rotated between the pole pieces of the magnets, they generates electric charges; as a result, the electric current is built up inside the generator. When the generator is turned off, these charges acquire potential energy. So the electric generators are examples of electric potential energy, which is then converted form of magnetic potential energy.

Refrigerator when it is turned off

Refrigerators are used to preserve the food products for a few days. Refrigerators consume electricity, so it could be a great example of electric potential energy when it is in the off state.

Basically, the electric energy is responsible for the refrigerator to possess a low temperature. The refrigerating systems are modified in such a way that the charges possess potential energy until any external force is triggered them to cause motion.

Have you ever touched the outer part of the refrigerator? If yes, have you ever thought about why it is hot while the refrigerator maintains a very low temperature inside to preserve the food?

When the refrigerator is switched on, the stored potential energy of the charge is converted into heat and set up at a low temperature inside the fridge. That is why the outer part is the refrigerators are pretty hot.

Micro oven when it is turned off

Micro ovens are used for baking purposes. The micro oven uses an electric current to bake the food.

The electric current flows through the oven when you are in the oven. When you turn off the oven, the motion of charges responsible for the flow of current is stopped; this makes the charges attain potential energy.

The potential energy attained by the charges is lost when the oven is turned on. The lost potential energy is converted into thermal energy, and heat is released, which is utilized for baking.

The above-mentioned examples of electric potential energy use the electric current directly. But some of the devices use the electric charges stored in the batteries. Those examples of electric potential energy are discussed below.

Wireless headphones before turning on

Nowadays, wireless headphones are ubiquitous. These headphones are fitted with batteries to store the charges. Hence wireless headphones are good examples of electric potential energy before turning it on.

Image credits: Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 

The charges stored in the batteries possess potential energy before turning on. In this case, the stored potential energy is converted into sound energy, which makes us hear the music in our ears with these headphones.

Solar cell during the night

Solar cells are a perfect example of electric potential energy at night. A solar cell observes radiation energy which is converted into electric energy.

Image credits: Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Generally, solar cells observe radiations from the sun during the daytime, and it makes the bulb light up in the nighttime. Batteries are employed in the solar cells, such that they have the ability to convert radiation into electric charges. These electric charges have stored the maximum amount of potential energy, which is responsible for lighting bulbs in nighttime even though the sun is absent.

A cell phone, when it is turned off

Nowadays, cell phones are an essential device used to communicate with people. But do you know cell phones possess electric potential energy?

Before turning on, the cell phone has the maximum potential energy. Since the cell phone uses electricity for its operation, it is one of the examples of electric potential energy in daily life. If you want to turn on your cell phone, the charges have to be overcome by the potential energy.

When you press the power button, it provides sufficient force to trigger the charges, and it causes the motion of the charge, which makes the cell phone turn on.

Laptop before turning on

Laptops are most convenient to use instead of desktop computers as the laptops are transferable from one place to another.

The laptops are fitted with batteries that are capable of storing the maximum amount of change. The charge lasts for a long duration because of the potential energy. So it is one of the very good examples of electric potential energy.

The batteries are capable of storing the charges because the charges have potential energy before turning on the laptop. Once the laptop is turned on, the stored potential converts into kinetic energy, and the charge begins to flow, which makes the laptop turn on.

Smartwatches when it is off

Another example of electric potential energy which comes under the charge stored in the battery is smartwatches. These are the smart device of the new generation.

The smartwatches need to charge over a certain time, and then they can be operated. The batteries fitted in the smartwatches can store the charges in it and supply the charges when the watch is turned on.

Before turning on, the charge possesses electric potential energy that is ready to work on the battery and is waiting for an external trigger to cause the motion. Once the power button is pressed, the stored potential energy is broken down, and charges begin to flow, causing the watches to display time.

Calculators before turning on

Calculators are also good examples of electric potential energy.

The calculators are provided with both solar panels and batteries, which can store the charges. The charge acquires potential energy before turning on the calculators. The potential energy is responsible for doing work on the calculator to display the numbers.

As the calculators turn on, the charges break the potential energy and flow and cause the calculator circuits to perform the task.

Wind turbines

Wind turbines are devices used for the purpose of converting wind energy into usable electric energy. Since wind energy is a form of kinetic energy, the kinetic energy is converted into electric energy.

Image credits: Image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay 

Wind turbines are designed so that when the wind blows, the large wings of the turbine starts rotating. As the wings rotate, the electric charges are produced. These electric charges can be stored in the batteries and employed in various applications. Since the charges are stored in the batteries, the charges possess potential energy. Thus wind turbines are one of the most essential examples of electric potential energy.

Keerthi Murthi

I am Keerthi K Murthy, I have completed post graduation in Physics, with the specialization in the field of solid state physics. I have always consider physics as a fundamental subject which is connected to our daily life. Being a science student I enjoy exploring new things in physics. As a writer my goal is to reach the readers with the simplified manner through my articles. Reach me – keerthikmurthy24@gmail.com

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