Exploring Energy Concepts

What is the overall change in potential energy, in ft · lbf and Btu, of an automobile weighing 2500 lbf in a drive from San Diego, CA to Santa Fe, NM? Take g constant.

Step 1 of 3:

Consider an automobile is traveling from San Diego, California to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The elevation above the sea level of Santa Fe is very much greater. Hence the potential energy of the vehicle increases as the automobile travel. Assume that the acceleration due to gravity is constant. We are going to find the change in potential energy in ft · lbf and Btu.

The weight of the vehicle W = 2,500 lbf

The difference in the elevation between the two cities (h2 - h1)= 7,140 ft (approximately)

Step 2 of 3:

The change in potential energy of the automobile

This is the change in potential energy of the automobile in ft · lbf.