Just as we have different types of energy, there are also different types of energy loss. However, some loss of energy can result to the gain of another form of energy. When this happens, we refer to it as energy transformation. For instance, the chemical energy derived from fossil fuel (natural gas, oil, and coal) can be transformed into heat energy when they are burned. Gas turbines can used to transform heat5 energy into kinetic energy and finally into electrical energy. Thereafter, the converted electrical energy can further be used and converted into kinetic, sound, or light energy which can be used for household appliances.
The various types of types of energy loss can be classified according to the various types of energy we have. When an energy conversion takes place, the amount of energy loss is equivalent to the amount of new energy gained. This perception is what is referred to as the first law of thermodynamics. The law emphasized that it is not possible to create or destroy energy but energy can only be changed from one form to the other. So, the various types of energy loss is gained into other forms of energy. In any conversion of energy, low grade energy is changed from high grade energy as heat. This implies that as the high grade energy in the planet decreases, the low grade energy is increasing.
Though it is noted that energy cannot be destroyed, we can still see that there are various types of energy loss around us. In essence, what we are suffering is a shortfall of high grade energy which is very important as a source of power. Though we can experience different types of energy loss, the fact remains that the overall amount of energy in the world is the same.
The different types of energy loss occur in two basic forms: potential energy loss and kinetic energy loss. Potential energy is a stored energy which cannot be expressed through movement. These types of energy loss can either be mechanical, gravitational, nuclear, or chemical.
The kinetic form or energy loss is effective when object moves. Heat (thermal) energy, vibration of atoms, movement of objects, motion of electrons, and movement of light waves are all examples of the kinetic form of energy.
The loss of each of these forms of energy leads to the acquisition of another. These losses are a result of transformations that occur in other types of energy. For example, the conversion of kinetic or potential energy into electricity is possible with the use of a power plant. After the conversion, it can then be converted back to other forms of energy. The loss of chemical energy can produce heat energy and other forms of energy. The intake of food and the metabolism that takes place is a perfect example of the loss of chemical energy and its conversion to mechanical energy (as the food gives us strength to do work).
There are other types of energy loss such as nuclear energy loss, solar energy loss, gravitational energy loss, elastic energy loss, and thermal energy loss.