8 Legit Difference between Power and Energy with Table

What is the difference between power and energy?

Energy and power are closely related terms but they are not the same. These two physical quantities tend to toss the mind of many students in colleges and universities.

The main difference between energy and power is that energy is the ability to do work whereas power is the rate at which specific work is done.

Read More: Difference between Mass and Weight

difference between power and energy

Comparison Table (Power vs Energy)

Basic Terms Power Energy
MeaningIt is the ability to do work.It is the rate at which specific work is done
SI UnitWattJoule
SymbolPW
ConversionCannot be converted from one form to anotherCan be converted from one form to another
StorageCannot be storedCan be stored
RepresentsHow quickly work can be done?How much work a person can do?
TypesElectric power, optical power, human power, etc.Kinetic, thermal, potential, gravitational, sound, electromagnetic, light, elastic, etc
ApplicationMechanical applications, electrical applications, heat applications, etcMoving a car, heating home, lighting night, flying an airplane, etc

What Is Power?

It is the rate at which work is done or energy is transmitted. Power tends to come in different forms such as electric power, optic power, and human power.

The SI unit of power is watt or joules per second. Besides that, power cannot be stored and converted. The powder formula is work done divided by the time taken.

What Is Energy?

It is the capacity to do work. Energy is power integrated over time. The SI unit of energy is joules or watts per second.

The common forms of energy are kinetic, potential, thermal, gravitational, electromagnetic, sound, light, and elastic.

Keep in mind that energy can be converted and also stored. Also, energy is a time quantity or component.

Main Difference between Power and Energy

  1. Energy is the ability to do work while power is the rate at which specific work is done.
  2. The SI unit of power is watt whereas that of energy is joules
  3. Energy can change from one form to another whereas power cannot change from one form to another
  4. Energy is a time quantity whereas power is an instant quantity
  5. Energy can be stored whereas power cannot be stored

Similarities between Power and Energy

  1. Both are measurable
  2. Both are quite useful
  3. Both occur in a different form

Read More: Difference between Scalar and Vector Quantity 

Power vs Energy FAQs

  1. What is the difference between electrical energy and mechanical energy?

Electrical energy is energy derived from electric potential energy or kinetic energy whereas mechanical energy is the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy.

  1. What is the difference between electric energy and electric power?

Electric energy is generated from the potential differences in a circuit, causing current to flow. Electric power is the rate at which electric energy is transferred within a circuit.

  1. How can power be stored?

Power cannot be stored for usage later. You can only store energy.

Comparison Video

Summary

The core difference between energy and power is that energy is the ability to do work whereas power is the rate at which specific work is done.

The close relationship between power and energy can pose a huge challenge to understand. But the lesson stated above is worth making the distinction.

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