kho-zeh

Energy Conversion

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Is there a device (electronic/mechanical or otherwise) that can actually convert potential energy to kinetic energy?

 And I mean, one that carry out such conversion as efficiently as a battery converts chemical energy to electrical energy.

And I'm not referring to natural conversion like what happens  in a spring when it is stretched and released (stored potential energy becoming kinetic energy and all) I'm referring to man made conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy 

so...any ideas? Or do such devices exist already?

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Well a hydroelectric generator system converts potential energy to kinetic energy and then to electricity. And the process can be reversed to store energy.

Quote

And I'm not referring to natural conversion like what happens  in a spring when it is stretched and released (stored potential energy becoming kinetic energy and all) I'm referring to man made conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy 

Aren't springs man made? If they don't count, I'm not sure what does.

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That makes a lot of sense- thank you very much.

Nevertheless, I'm searching for something more. It's really hard to express what I have in mind but I'd try and explain.

springs perform the energy conversion naturally- by that I mean they are more or less like rubber bands.

what I'm searching for is something like a kinetic energy battery that provides kinetic energy simply because it possesses potential energy. Something that kinda defies inertia coz it won't need an external force to move as it would simply convert it's potential energy (which in this case is not elastic potential energy like that found in springs and bands) to kinetic energy.

Don't know if that makes any sense but I hope you guys here could help me out.

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The short answer is No, it doesn't work like that.

The short reason/explanation is that you can'r remove PE from something and expect no change in that something.

 

The nearest you will get is the conversion of strain energy (which is a form of PE like your rubber band) directly to electricity by the piezoelectric effect.

 

 

 

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There are non-mechanical ways of storing potential energy. For example, you could charge a capacitor. And then use the current through a child to impart kinetic energy to a magnet. I don't know if that is any closer.

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What exactly do you mean by "you cannot remove PE from something and expect no change in that something " ? @Studiot . Would you kindly explain more?

it was helpful @ Strange . Any other non-mechanical ways you know or can think of (theoretically or practically)

Thanks J.C.MacSwell, your post got me thinking (not exactly what I was searching for but it stirred up some useful ideas)

 

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1 hour ago, kho-zeh said:

What exactly do you mean by "you cannot remove PE from something and expect no change in that something " ? @Studiot . Would you kindly explain more?

it was helpful @ Strange . Any other non-mechanical ways you know or can think of (theoretically or practically)

Thanks J.C.MacSwell, your post got me thinking (not exactly what I was searching for but it stirred up some useful ideas)

 

Sure.

Take the gravitational PE in the standing water behind a dam.
You can't access it directly without moving the water down or allowing it to move down.
In order do do this energy must be converted to the energy of motion, or it couldn't move from standing there.

So there must be a change in both the position and motion of the water.

 

Coiled springs, elastic bands and so on cannot release their energy without motion and changing their shape.

 

When you obtain electricity from electomagnetic fields, it is again the energy of motion that is converted not the PE of the field.

The more you lower the PE of the field the less electricity you will obtain, unlike lowering the gravitational PE of the water where each drop of 1 metre produces the same amount.

 

Even the piezoelectricity example I gave you has to have the strain energy supplied by another form - usually impact.

 

Does this help?

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