What should I know before I study this Unit?

  • The law of energy conservation

  • Word equations for photosynthesis and respiration

  • The names and nature of the different forms of energy

  • The simple mechanisms of heat transfer: conduction, convection and radiation


What will I be studying in this Unit?

The underpinning theme of this unit is to analyse how energy stored in carbon-based (fossil) fuels can be used to produce useful energy and how this energy is used and its impact on the environment.

In a nutshell you will be studying the following areas:

  • How energy was stored in carbon-based (fossil) fuels via the process of photosynthesis

  • You’ll follow and analyse the combustion energy pathway experimentally

  • You’ll analyse a domestic hot water system as an application of useful energy transfer, and examine how the environmental impact of their chosen system can be minimised by exploring the efficiency of the energy transfers within the system.

  • You’ll look at the impact of two organisations that are involved with energy production and usage on the local, national and international scale

How long will this Unit take to study?

On average you’ll be looking at 60 hours of teaching and independent research time.


What can I do to get the best out of this Unit?

If you’re really serious about getting the best out of this unit and are prepared to put some extra time in on your own it would be great if you could do some of the following:

Get together in a group and organise a visit by a local heating engineer and organisations involved with energy production or distribution.


Organising a visit to the local fire station for demonstrations of different types of fire and ways of extinguishing them can really help too as you’ll see first hand the types of energy different fuels emit.


What topics will I be studying in this Unit?

Topic 1: Energy Pathways

In this topic you will study:

  • Combustion and Enthalpy

  • Temperature and Energy

Topic 2: Fuels

In this topic you will study:

  • Energy of Fuels

  • Fossil Fuels

  • Sankey Diagrams

  • Domestic Hot Water

Topic 3: Energy at work

In this topic you will study:


  • Working with Energy

Where can I find some more information on this Unit?

Past Papers

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