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Energy Glossary

Energy Density

The energy densitiy is a concept which allows to compare the energy content of e.g. coal, a lithium ion battery, a flying wheel or a hot water tank.

The energy density is measured in Joule per kilogram (gravimetric) or Joule per litre (volumetric). The gravimetric and/or volumetric energy density is used to optimize energy devices for dedicated applications.

In mobile phones or cars both parameters have to be optimized, in the case of a stationary battery the volumetric energy density is much more important than the gravimetric energy density.

Another unit is very common: The energy content in kilowatt hours per kilogram or kilowatt hours per litre.

Typical energy densities are shown in the table below:
System/Material Joule/kgJoule/l kWh/kgkWh/l

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