An introduction to energy resources
An introduction to energy resources

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

An introduction to energy resources

S278_2 Glossary


S278_2 Glossary.
Browse the glossary using this index

Special | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | ALL

Page: (Previous)   1  2  3  4  (Next)
  ALL

P

Photovoltaic (PV) effect

The result of electrons being freed from impurities in semiconductors by the quantum energy of light photons, so that the electrons move to generate both electrical potential and current. The principle behind solar cells.

Potential energy

Mechanical energy that exists by virtue of position or potential in a force field — usually that of gravity.

Power

The rate at which energy is delivered or work is done, measured in watts (W). One watt is equivalent to one joule per second.

Primary energy

The energy released by directly burning fossil fuels or consumed at source in electricity generation.

R

Renewable energy

Supplies of energy on Earth from internal and external processes that are continually available, whether they are used or not. They include solar, tidal, wave, wind, hydro and geothermal energy.

Residence time

The average time that carbon stays in a reservoir before moving to another reservoir, estimated by the amount in the reservoir divided by the transfer rate.

S

Semiconductors

Poorly conductive materials doped with impurities, which act to increase electrical conductivity to a level intermediate between non-conductors and conductors. Bonded together in photovoltaic cells, they can generate an electrical current.

Solar energy

Solar radiation that reaches the Earth’s surface is potentially available as an energy resource as direct solar energy using photovoltaic cells.

T

Terrestrial carbon cycle

That part of the carbon cycle involving biological and inorganic processes on land.

Tonne oil equivalent (toe)

The chemical energy contained in one tonne of oil, it equates approximately to 4.19 × 1010 J. Often used as a convenient means of comparing the energy contents of different fossil fuels.



Page: (Previous)   1  2  3  4  (Next)
  ALL


S278_2

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371