An energy system derived from primary sources is capable of being converted to other forms at a later time or in a different place. Energy carriers enable the transport of useful energy from one location to another. For example, in energy carriers, unlike raw materials such as fossil fuels, hydrogen is not inherently available as it must be produced industrially and then stored and transported via pipelines or in tanks before it can be used for different purposes.
Can You Explain Energy Carriers with an Example?
Like electricity, hydrogen is an energy carrier that must be created from another substance. Hydrogen can be produced from a number of sources such as water, fossil fuels, or biomass, and used as an energy or fuel source. Hydrogen has the greatest energy content by weight of any common fuel (about three times that of gasoline), but the lowest energy content by volume (about four times less than gasoline).
Producing hydrogen, by separating it from other elements in molecules, requires more energy than hydrogen gives when converted to useful energy. However, hydrogen is helpful as an energy source/fuel because it has a high energy content per unit of weight, which is why it is used as rocket fuel and in fuel cells on some spacecraft to produce electricity. Hydrogen is not commonly used as fuel right now, but it has the potential to become more popular in the future.
How is Energy Carrier Different from Primary Energy Sources?
When discussing energy carriers and primary energy sources, there is an essential distinction to be made. The former is only concerned with energy transfer and must be produced from a main energy source; it can also be stored for later use based on demand. The second is a naturally occurring energy source whose use does not always necessitate conversion to another type of energy. Oil, renewable energy sources (wind, solar, water, etc.), biomass, and nuclear energy are all examples of primary energy sources that can be used right away.
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