Energy consumption

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Energy consumption is the amount of energy or power used. [1]

Energy quantitative physical property transferred to objects to perform heating or work on them

In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The SI unit of energy is the joule, which is the energy transferred to an object by the work of moving it a distance of 1 metre against a force of 1 newton.

In physics, power is the rate of doing work or of transferring heat, i.e. the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. Having no direction, it is a scalar quantity. In the International System of Units, the unit of power is the joule per second (J/s), known as the watt in honour of James Watt, the eighteenth-century developer of the condenser steam engine. Another common and traditional measure is horsepower. Being the rate of work, the equation for power can be written:



In the body, energy consumption is part of energy homeostasis. It derived from food energy. Energy consumption in the body is a product of the basal metabolic rate and the physical activity level. The physical activity level are defined for a non-pregnant, non-lactating adult as that person's total energy expenditure (TEE) in a 24-hour period, divided by his or her basal metabolic rate (BMR): [2]

In biology, energy homeostasis, or the homeostatic control of energy balance, is a biological process that involves the coordinated homeostatic regulation of food intake and energy expenditure. The human brain, particularly the hypothalamus, plays a central role in regulating energy homeostasis and generating the sense of hunger by integrating a number of biochemical signals that transmit information about energy balance. Fifty percent of the energy from glucose metabolism is immediately converted to heat.

Food energy chemical energy that animals (including humans) derive from food and molecular oxygen through the process of cellular respiration

Food energy is chemical energy that animals derive from food through the process of cellular respiration. Cellular respiration may either involve the chemical reaction of food molecules with molecular oxygen or the process of reorganizing the food molecules without additional oxygen.

Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate of energy expenditure per unit time by endothermic animals at rest. It is reported in energy units per unit time ranging from watt (joule/second) to ml O2/min or joule per hour per kg body mass J/(h·kg). Proper measurement requires a strict set of criteria be met. These criteria include being in a physically and psychologically undisturbed state, in a thermally neutral environment, while in the post-absorptive state (i.e., not actively digesting food). In bradymetabolic animals, such as fish and reptiles, the equivalent term standard metabolic rate (SMR) is used. It follows the same criteria as BMR, but requires the documentation of the temperature at which the metabolic rate was measured. This makes BMR a variant of standard metabolic rate measurement that excludes the temperature data, a practice that has led to problems in defining "standard" rates of metabolism for many mammals.

See also

Efficient energy use

Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. For example, insulating a home allows a building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a comfortable temperature. Installing LED lighting, fluorescent lighting, or natural skylight windows reduces the amount of energy required to attain the same level of illumination compared to using traditional incandescent light bulbs. Improvements in energy efficiency are generally achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production process or by application of commonly accepted methods to reduce energy losses.

Electricity generation process of generating electrical power

Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from sources of primary energy. For electric utilities in the electric power industry, it is the first stage in the delivery of electricity to end users, the other stages being transmission, distribution, energy storage and recovery, using the pumped-storage method.

Energy mix

The energy mix is a group of different primary energy sources from which secondary energy for direct use - usually electricity - is produced. Primary energy in the form of fossil fuels is nowadays still mostly used directly for motor-driven vehicles, i.e. transport. Further energy conversion of the co-produced waste heat after burning is not possible.

Related Research Articles

Exercise physiology

Exercise physiology is the physiology of physical exercise. It is one of the allied health professions that involves the study of the acute responses and chronic adaptations to exercise.

Anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercise is a physical exercise intense enough to cause lactate to form. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass. Muscle energy systems trained using anaerobic exercise develop differently compared to aerobic exercise, leading to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities, which last from mere seconds to up to about 2 minutes. Any activity lasting longer than about two minutes has a large aerobic metabolic component.

Exercise intensity amount of energy expended when exercising

Exercise intensity refers to how much energy is expended when exercising. Perceived intensity varies with each person. It has been found that intensity has an effect on what fuel the body uses and what kind of adaptations the body makes after exercise. Intensity is the amount of physical power that the body uses when performing an activity. For example, exercise intensity defines how hard the body has to work to walk a mile in 20 minutes.

Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is whole-body mammal metabolism during a time period of strict and steady resting conditions that are defined by a combination of assumptions of physiological homeostasis and biological equilibrium. RMR differs from basal metabolic rate (BMR) because BMR measurements must meet total physiological equilibrium whereas RMR conditions of measurement can be altered and defined by the contextual limitations. Therefore, BMR is measured in the elusive "perfect" steady state, whereas RMR measurement is more accessible and thus, represents most, if not all measurements or estimates of daily energy expenditure.


Allometry is the study of the relationship of body size to shape, anatomy, physiology and finally behaviour, first outlined by Otto Snell in 1892, by D'Arcy Thompson in 1917 in On Growth and Form and by Julian Huxley in 1932.

The metabolic equivalent of task (MET) is the objective measure of the ratio of the rate at which a person expends energy, relative to the mass of that person, while performing some specific physical activity compared to a reference, set by convention at 3.5 ml of oxygen per kilogram per minute, which is roughly equivalent to the energy expended when sitting quietly.

Abnormal basal metabolic rate refers to a high or low basal metabolic rate (BMR). It has numerous causes, both physiological and pathological.

The Schofield Equation is a method of estimating the basal metabolic rate (BMR) of adult men and women published in 1985.

The respiratory quotient, is a dimensionless number used in calculations of basal metabolic rate (BMR) when estimated from carbon dioxide production. It is calculated from the ratio of carbon dioxide produced by the body to oxygen consumed by the body. Such measurements, like measurements of oxygen uptake, are forms of indirect calorimetry. It is measured using a respirometer. The Respiratory Quotient value indicates which macronutrients are being metabolized, as different energy pathways are used for fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. If metabolism consists solely of lipids, the Respiratory Quotient is 0.7, for proteins it is 0.8, and for carbohydrates it is 1.0. Most of the time, however, energy consumption is composed of both fats and carbohydrates. The approximate respiratory quotient of a mixed diet is 0.8. Some of the other factors that may affect the respiratory quotient are energy balance, circulating insulin, and insulin sensitivity.

Bicycle performance

A bicycle's performance, in both biological and mechanical terms, is extraordinarily efficient. In terms of the amount of energy a person must expend to travel a given distance, cycling is calculated to be the most efficient self-powered means of transportation. In terms of the ratio of cargo weight a bicycle can carry to total weight, it is also a most efficient means of cargo transportation.

Protein (nutrient) nutrient for the human body

Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. They are one of the building blocks of body tissue and can also serve as a fuel source. As a fuel, proteins provide as much energy density as carbohydrates: 4 kcal per gram; in contrast, lipids provide 9 kcal per gram. The most important aspect and defining characteristic of protein from a nutritional standpoint is its amino acid composition.

Thermal comfort is the condition of mind that expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment and is assessed by subjective evaluation. The human body can be viewed as a heat engine where food is the input energy. The human body will generate excess heat into the environment, so the body can continue to operate. The heat transfer is proportional to temperature difference. In cold environments, the body loses more heat to the environment and in hot environments the body does not exert enough heat. Both the hot and cold scenarios lead to discomfort. Maintaining this standard of thermal comfort for occupants of buildings or other enclosures is one of the important goals of HVAC design engineers. Most people will feel comfortable at room temperature, colloquially a range of temperatures around 20 to 22 °C, but this may vary greatly between individuals and depending on factors such as activity level, clothing, and humidity.

Physical activity level way of expressing a persons daily physical activity

The physical activity level (PAL) is a way to express a person's daily physical activity as a number, and is used to estimate a person's total energy expenditure. In combination with the basal metabolic rate, it can be used to compute the amount of food energy a person needs to consume in order to maintain a particular lifestyle.

The Harris–Benedict equation is a method used to estimate an individual's basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Weight management

Weight management is the phrase used to describe both the techniques and underlying physiological processes that contribute to a person's ability to attain and maintain a certain weight. Most weight management techniques encompass long-term lifestyle strategies that promote healthy eating and daily physical activity. Moreover, weight management involves developing meaningful ways to track weight over time and to identify ideal body weights for different individuals.

The expensive tissue hypothesis (ETH) relates brain and gut size in evolution. It suggests that in order for an organism to evolve a large brain without a significant increase in basal metabolic rate, the organism must use less energy on other expensive tissues; the paper introducing the ETH suggests that in humans, this was achieved by eating an easy-to-digest diet and evolving a smaller, less energy intensive gut. The ETH has inspired many research projects to test its validity in primates and other organisms.


  1. "Energy consumption definition and meaning - Collins English Dictionary".
  2. "Human energy requirements: Principles and Definitions". Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2004. Retrieved 2009-10-15.