Energy stores

There are seven main stores of energy:

  • magnetic
  • internal (thermal)
  • chemical
  • kinetic
  • electrostatic
  • elastic potential
  • gravitational potential
Seven different energy stores, magnetic, internal, chemical, kinetic, electrostatic, elasitic and gravitational potential; illustrated around main label.

Examples of energy stores

'MICKEE G' can be a useful way of remembering the names of the seven stores of energy. Each letter of the name hints at a different store of energy, as shown in the table below.
Energy storeDescriptionExamples
MagneticThe energy stored when repelling poles have been pushed closer together or when attracting poles have been pulled further apart.Fridge magnets, compasses, maglev trains which use magnetic levitation.
Internal (thermal)The total kinetic and potential energy of the particles in an object, in most cases this is the vibrations - also known as the kinetic energy - of particles. In hotter objects, the particles have more internal energy and vibrate faster.Human bodies, hot coffees, stoves or hobs. Ice particles vibrate slower, but still have energy.
ChemicalThe energy stored in chemical bonds, such as those between molecules.Foods, muscles, electrical cells.
KineticThe energy of a moving object.Runners, buses, comets.
ElectrostaticThe energy stored when repelling charges have been moved closer together or when attracting charges have been pulled further apart.Thunderclouds, Van De Graaff generators.
Elastic potentialThe energy stored when an object is stretched or squashed.Drawn catapults, compressed springs, inflated balloons.
Gravitational potentialThe energy of an object at height.Aeroplanes, kites, mugs on a table.