One of the most common types of energy is Mechanical Energy. This describes the ability of an object to do some kind of work. We can see it in action every day when we take stationary objects and make them move. For example, throwing a ball, pedaling a bicycle or even playing a guitar.
Mechanical energy makes it possible for an object to apply a force to another object to make it move. So we can say that the sum of kinetic energy (motion) + gravitational potential energy (obtained by being under the action of the force of gravity) is equal to the Mechanical Energy. Then its formula is: Em =Ep + Ec
In other words, the Mechanical Energy is the energy obtained by a body through the speed of its movement or its specific position. Knowing this we can now talk about the benefits of this type of energy.
Advantages of using mechanical energy
- It is one of the most economical to generate, among all types of energy.
- It affected positively the way the tasks were performed, reducing manual labor and in other cases Anulándolos completely.
- The previously used animal force was replaced by machines.
- The potential of the force to be produced is higher than that exerted manually.
- It depends on itself to generate the power, so it is autonomous.
- It speeds up processes in which a lot of human strength would have to be used.
- It’s more efficient than manual labor.
- This type of energy is easily accessible, its distribution and use is very economical in different sectors.
- It’s a very versatile energy, so it has multiple applications and uses.
- It is more comfortable and safe, the machines have decreased the occupational hazards and the accidents have been reduced.
Disadvantages of using mechanical energy
- There is an important cost in maintaining the machines that take advantage of this energy.
- The machines are usually very heavy, which opens up some risks.
- Machines may become obsolete over time and require replacement.
- Moving heavy machinery often represents an important cost.
- Training and/or specialization is required for the use of certain machinery.
- Over time, in some sectors machines replace the human workforce, creating unemployment.
- The transmission of this type of energy over long distances is complicated.
- Machine failures are continuous and represent a cost for repair or replacement.
- There is greater wear at the thermal level.
- The interaction with the machines can be a bit traumatic and complicated for some people.
Examples of mechanical energy
A hydroelectric plant is also an example of converting mechanical energy to electrical energy. The mechanical energy of the water falling from a waterfall is used to rotate the turbines that are present at the bottom of a waterfall. The rotation of these turbines is used to generate electricity.
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Mechanical energy is part of our daily life, it is everywhere, influencing our existence in visible and invisible ways. It is used to move objects, create conveniences and help us achieve what we cannot do with human strength alone. Mechanical energy is the driving force behind industry in our times.
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