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New Mexico Solar Energy Association

Energy Concepts Primer


This primer is intended to fill in important background information about basic energy physics in a conceptually deep but mathematically simple way.

 If you're short on time, try reading only highlighted portions of text.

Table of Contents

  1. What is energy?  
  2. What are the different forms of energy?
  3. What are the properties of energy?
  4. How was energy defined and  discovered in the first place? 
  5. How is energy transported and transferred? 
  6. How is energy converted?
  7. How is electrical energy measured, and how well does the Sun provide? (watts, kilo-watt hours, volts, and amps)
  8. How is thermal (heat) energy measured, and how well does the Sun Provide? (BTUs and therms)
  9. What is entropy? (as opposed to energy)
  10. Photosynthesis

Other Energy Issues

  1. Impacts of coal mining
  2. Nuclear Power
  3. Global Warming 
  4. Natural Gas and "Co-generation"
  5. US Energy-use Trends