In this post, we give an overview of the first source of energy. In fact, “Energy” is a word originating in Greek to designate the force, so the original word was “Energia”. The ox that pulls the plow uses the strength of its muscles. We say it spends energy. The sailboat uses the force of the wind (wind energy) to move forward. Man has always sought to unlock the secrets of energy in order to make the most of it in all the tasks of daily life: heating, lighting, moving around, lifting heavy loads, and increasing his working capacity. In the 18th century, the invention of the steam engine revolutionized industry and transportation.
The fire is the first primary energy in the word
It was in prehistoric times that man first succeeded in producing fire. It gives it warmth and light, allows it to cook food, to harden the tips of wooden spears which it uses to hunt. To produce fire, the ancient man turns a stick between his palms on dry wood. The resulting heating ignites twigs.
Wind energy is the most natural source of energy
People use sailboats since ancient times to turn the wheels of mills from the 7th century. By turning, the wings activate the wheels connected to the grindstones, which grind the grain.
With systems of levers and pulleys and thanks to lifting devices connected to rudimentary cranes, the builders of Antiquity manage to effortlessly lift huge blocks of stone. The Romans thus build large aqueducts which supply cities with water.
Use the force of water
The paddle wheel is the first machine that uses the force of water (hydraulic energy) to produce mechanical energy (capable of operating a mechanism). From the sixteenth century, it allowed the development of many small businesses (forges, sawmills …). For example, the paddle mill was used to operate a forge. By turning under the effect of the water pressure, the wheel actuated an axis provided with arms that pressed on bellows to send air into the ovens.
Tallow candles (ruminant fat) and oil lamps have long been the main sources of light. In the 19th century, kerosene lamps appeared. We note that Thomas Edison is the first scientist to have invented the light bulb (in 1879). By emptying the air inside, it prevents the metallic wire, heated by the current, from being consumed.
At full steam is a useful source of energy
In the 18th century, man managed to transform heat into mechanical energy: by heating a large amount of water, he realized that the steam obtained is capable of triggering a mechanism if it is under pressure and s’ suddenly escapes. The steam engine was born. To heat the water, we burn wood and then charcoal. The steam engine drives the wheels of the first locomotives.