An energy carrier is a substance (energy form) or sometimes a phenomenon (energy system) that contains energy that can be later converted to other forms such as mechanical work or heat or to operate chemical or physical processes. Such carriers include springs, electrical batteries, capacitors, pressurized air, dammed water, hydrogen, petroleum, coal, wood, and natural gas. An energy carrier does not produce energy; it simply contains energy imbued by another system.
Definition according to ISO 13600
According to ISO 13600, an energy carrier is either a substance or a phenomenon that can be used to produce mechanical work or heat or to operate chemical or physical processes. It is any system or substance that contains energy for conversion as usable energy later or somewhere else. This could be converted for use in, for example, an appliance or vehicle. Such carriers include springs, electrical batteries, capacitors, pressurized air, dammed water, hydrogen, petroleum, coal, wood, and natural gas.
- ISO 13600 (Technical energy systems — Basic concepts) covers basic definitions and terms needed to define and describe TESs in general and TESs of energyware supply and demand sectors in particular.
- ISO 13601 (Technical energy systems — Structure for analysis — Energyware supply and demand sectors) covers structures that shall be used to describe and analyse sub-sectors at the macro level of energyware supply and demand
- ISO 13602 (all parts) facilitates the description and analysis of any technical energy systems.
Definition within the field of energetics
In the field of Energetics, an energy carrier corresponds only to an energy form (not an energy system) of energy input required by the various sectors of society to perform their functions. Energy carriers (EC) are produced by the energy sector using primary energy sources (PES). The distinction between "Energy Carriers" and "Primary Energy Sources" is extremely important since these two labels refer to energy forms of different quality so that they cannot be aggregated: 1 megajoule (MJ) of EC is not the same as 1 MJ of PES. Note that coal, oil and natural gas are primary energy sources which are extracted from the earth (fossil fuels). Natural uranium is also a primary energy source extracted from the earth but does not come from the decomposition of organisms (mineral fuel).
- Capital goods
- Coefficient of performance
- Embedded energy
- Energy pay-back
- Energy resource
- Energy storage
- Passive and low energy architecture (PLEA)
- Renewable resource
- Energy crisis
- Energy and society
- Energy source
- Future energy development
- Hydrogen economy
- ISO 14000
- Liquid nitrogen economy
- Lithium economy
- Methanol economy
- Solar power
- Vegetable oil economy
- Wind power
- Giampietro, Mario; Mayumi, Kozo (2009). The Biofuel Delusion: The Fallacy of Large Scale Agro-Biofuels Production. Earthscan, Taylor & Francis group. p. 336. ISBN 978-1-84407-681-9.
- European Nuclear Society info pool/glossary: Energy carrier
- Our Energy Futures glossary: Energy Carriers
- "Boron: a better energy carrier than hydrogen?" paper by Graham Cowan
- ISO 13600 Technical energy systems -- Basic concepts: gives the basic concepts needed to define and describe technical energy systems.