We call thermal energy or heat energy the energy that bodies contain due to their temperature. This type of energy is produced thanks to the movement of the internal particles that make up matter. As is evident, a body that is at a low temperature will have less thermal energy.
We can also say that thermal energy is the part of internal energy that a thermodynamic system has when it is in equilibrium; and therefore, the amount of thermal energy is proportional to the absolute temperature of said system. Increases or decreases in the temperature of the system occur due to the transfer of energy, which generally occurs in the form of heat, in thermodynamic processes.
On the other hand, if we study the thermal energy from the point of view of the Kinetic Theory, then, the thermal energy is the total of the present average kinetic energy produced by the movements of the atoms and molecules, or, produced by the agitation thermal.
Observation: We call heat the transfer of thermal energy from one body to another body by the temperature difference. We have to be careful not to confuse the terms of thermal energy and heat, since as we can see heat is the manifestation of thermal energy.
SOURCES OF THERMAL ENERGY
Thermal energy is very present in our day to day, in addition to having innumerable applications. The closest example we find is the Sun, which produces thermal energy naturally, known as solar thermal energy. The Sun is an inexhaustible and ecological source. Solar energy uses the heat generated by solar radiation to generate electricity.
But there are many more bodies, close to us, which do not produce this type of energy naturally, if not artificially; some of these are: gas, coal, oil, etc., that is, almost all the fuels we can think of. These materials produce thermal energy thanks to electricity. However, although it is very common to generate thermal energy in this way, it is not efficient, since as we all know there will be a time when the raw material is finished.
There are many known applications of thermal energy, although its two most important applications are: supplying heating systems and supplying hot water to our homes, businesses and sanitary systems. The teams in charge of this task can operate using solar energy or other sources, and we should never worry about cloudy days when they work with solar energy, since currently, all the teams are provided with a tank and an auxiliary energy system. to be able to use them both at night and on days when it is not sunny.
Another very important application in our day to day, we find it in the kitchen, where either thanks to gas, or even once more to the Sun (since there are solar cookers), we can enjoy one of the pleasures of life, the food.