Thermal energy or Heat energy, and it’s 5 important industrial applications

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Thermal energy:

Thermal energy or heat energy is generated from the vibration of molecules or atoms within a substance. The quicker the atom move, the more energy it will hold along with it and more heat will be generated too.

Thermal energy is the energy originated by a scheme due to the movement of particles inside its volume. As we know, a system is nothing but a collection of objects within some boundaries. As thermal energy is generated due to the movement of particles, it’s one type of kinetic energy. In most fossil fuel-based power plant thermal energy is converted to the electrical form of energy.

Examples of thermal energy:

  • The energy from the sun.
  • Burning in an oven.
  • The room heater’s heat productions.

What are the primary resources of thermal energy?

Most common thermal energy source is solar energy. No matter it is a fine day or a cloudy day, people can always get solar energy. There are also many sources such as combustion of solid or liquid fuel, geothermal energy, etc. There are 4 key resources:

  • Sunlight.
  • Chemical energy conversion.
  • Electrical power conversion.
  • Heat from Nuclear reaction.

The three types of heat transfer:

  • Conduction
  • Convection
  • Radiation

Heat is generally transferred in a combination of these 3 forms or either one.

What is the unit of thermal energy?

  • Joule (J) in SI unit.
  • The typical unit for the rate of heat transfer is the watt (W), defined as 1 joule/sec.

What is specific heat?

The specific heat is the quantity of heat/unit mass essential to increase the temp by 1oC.

Relationship of Heat transfer and temp. change:

Q = mcΔT


  • The Q is value of heat transfer.
  • m is the mass of the material.
  • ΔT is the temp. change.
  • c is specific heat.

Relation to heat and internal energy


Thermodynamics is the studies of thermal energy and its movement from one place or form to other one.

Law of Conservation of energy

Conservation of energy is a principle that explains

Energy can never be created or destroyed, but it can be transformed from one type to other.

Once heat is generated from some other form of energy then its in the form of thermal energy, while work can apparent the aforementioned in mechanical energy.

Thermal Energy Example:

Thermal Energy
Thermal or Heat Energy image credit : pixabay free images
Heat Energy from fire image credit : pixabay free images
Heat energy
Heat energy in Furnace image credit : pixabay free images

Is thermal energy renewable?

Industrial Application of Thermal Energy:

Industrial Furnace:

  • An industrial furnace, is a device employ to generate heat for the industrial course. Industrial furnaces are utilized in chemical reaction, burning, oil-refining, and glass productions etc.
Industrial Furnace
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Industrial oven
Industrial oven image credit : pixabay free images

Industrial Oven:

  • These are hot chamber utilized in diverse of manufacturing process, such as drying-up, baking purpose, heat treatment processes etc.

Heat Exchangers:

  • Heat exchangers are extensively employed in industry i.e, refrigerator, air-cooler, car-radiator, space heater, power production, and chemical processing.
Heat Exchangers
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Thermal Torch:

  • It’s a tool that can generate high temperature in the presence of pressurized O2 to may apply as cutting thick metal sheet.
Heat Energy: Thermal Torch
Thermal Torch Melting Metal image credit : pixabay free images

Geothermal Energy:

Geothermal Energy is also one type of thermal energy, is reserved under the Earth’s surface. This originated from both the original formation of the planet and the radioactive decay of the minerals and elements.

Geothermal Energy
Geothermal Energy image credit : pixabay free images

About Dr. Subrata Jana

I am Subrata, Ph.D. in Engineering, more specifically interested in Nuclear and Energy science related domains. I have multi-domain experience starting from Service Engineer for electronics drives and micro-controller to specialized R&D work. I have worked on various projects, including nuclear fission, fusion to solar photovoltaics, heater design, and other projects. I have a keen interest in the science domain, energy, electronics and instrumentation, and industrial automation, primarily because of the wide range of stimulating problems inherited to this field, and every day it’s changing with industrial demand. Our aim here is to exemplify these unconventional, complex science subjects in an easy and understandable to the point manner.
I am passionate about learning new techniques and guide young minds to perform like a professional, have a vision, and improve their performance by enriching knowledge and experience.
Apart from the professional front, I like photography, painting, and exploring the beauty of nature.Lets connect over linked-in -