Energy stores

There are seven main stores of energy:

  • magnetic
  • internal (thermal)
  • chemical
  • kinetic
  • electrostatic
  • elastic potential
  • gravitational potential
  • nuclear

Examples of energy stores

Energy storeDescriptionExamples
MagneticThe energy stored when repelling poles have been pushed closer together or when attracting poles have been pulled further apart.Fridge magnets, Maglev trains which use magnetic levitation and magnetic compass.
Internal (thermal)The total kinetic and potential energy of the particles in an object. In most cases this is the vibrations - also known as the kinetic energy - of particles. In hotter objects, the particles will vibrate faster and store more internal energy.The human body, hot coffee, a stove or hob. Also: ice - particles vibrate slower, but still have some energy.
ChemicalThe energy stored in chemical bonds, such as those between molecules.Food, muscles and electrical cells.
KineticThe energy of a moving object.Runner, bus and comet.
ElectrostaticThe energy stored when repelling charges have been moved closer together or when attracting charges have been pulled further apart.Thunderclouds and Van De Graff generators.
Elastic potentialThe energy stored when an object is stretched or squashed.Drawn catapult, compressed spring and inflated balloon.
Gravitational potentialThe energy of an object at height.Aeroplane, kite and a mug on a table.
NuclearThe energy stored in the nucleus of an atom.Uranium nuclear power, nuclear reactors.