Difference Between Specific Heat and Sensible Heat

As per science, heat is an energy that flows from a high temperature to a low temperature between different materials and objects.

Heat energy is commonly known as thermal energy Calories and Joules are the units of measurement. Specific heat and Sensible heat are two categories of thermal energy or heat energy.

Specific Heat vs Sensible heat

The main difference between Specific Heat and Sensible Heat is that Specific Heat accelerates the temperature of one gram of a substance by one Celsius degree; whereas, Sensible Heat is that heat that the human body feels as a result of temperature differences.

Specific Heat vs Sensible Heat

As the name implies, specific heat refers to the amount of energy necessary to raise the temperature of a certain quantity of substance.

According to the scientist’s findings, various materials of the same mass require varying amounts of heat to reach the same temperature.

In terms of liquids, for example, out of water and milk of the same mass, water needs more heat to reach the required temperature as compared to that of milk.

Sensible heat, as the name implies, is a type of heat that can be sensed by the human body because of differences in the temperature of different objects and materials.

Humans, for example, can tell the difference between ice and normal water temperature just by touching it.

Comparison Table Between Specific Heat and Sensible Heat

Parameters of ComparisonSpecific HeatSensible Heat
MeaningIt refers to the amount of energy necessary to raise the temperature of a certain quantity of substance.Sensible heat is a type of heat that can be sensed by the human body because of differences in the temperature of different objects and materials
EquationSpecific Heat = Energy in Joules divided by
mass x change in temperature
Sensible Heat = 1.08 x rate of flow of air entering from outside x change in temperature
Unitscalories or joules per gram per Celsius degreeJoule per kilogram Kelvin
Deals withSpecific heat or energy of substancesDifference of temperature felt by humans between distinct objects and materials
ImportancePlays an imperative role in examining how much heat is required for the specific object or material.Plays an imperative role in the cooling system.

What is Specific Heat?

Specific Heat is defined as the desired amount of heat or energy required for distinct objects respective of materials. Different substances need distinct amounts of heat to reach 1-degree celsius temperature.

This is a very important finding of the scientists to comprehend the specific heat of both water and air and their specific heat difference is around a quarter.

Such knowledge is vital to develop knowledge about Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning systems commonly known as the HVAC system. This system is responsible for moving air indoors and outdoors.

Joule per kelvin per kilogram is Système international (S I) unit . The equation to calculate specific heat is energy in joules divided by the product of the mass of the substance and change in temperature.

An Equation of Specific Heat

C= Q/(M x T difference)

where

C= Specific Heat

Q =Energy

M= Mass

T difference- Difference of Temperature

For Example,

A piece of material weighing 200 grams has an energy of 19990 J and is heated from 100 degrees temperature to 200 degrees. Find out the Specific Heat

So, Here,

m= 200

Q=19990 J

T difference = 200-100 = 100 degree C

C= 19990/(200 x 100) = 0.9995  J/g0C

0.9995  J/g0C Specific Heat is needed to heat 200 grams of material carrying heat capacity 19990 J

What is Sensible Heat?

The term “sensible heat” refers to the temperature change generated by the human body just by touching various materials or things. In this case, the phase of the material does not change.

Temperature variations can also be measured with a thermometer. The significance of Sensible Heat is to comprehend the cooling system in HVAC systems. Such heat can easily be felt while sunbathing even.  

Joule per kelvin per kilogram, J⋅kg−1⋅K−1 is Système international (S I) unit . Equation of Sensible Heat is the product of 1.08, rate of flow of air entering from outside and temperature change.

Equation of Sensible Heat

Sensible Heat = 1.08 x rate of airflow from outside x change in temperature

For an Example

The amount of airflow from outside is 200 and the temperature rises from 100 degrees celsius to 200 degrees celsius. Find out the Sensible Heat?

Temperature Change = 200-100= 100 degree celsius

Sensible Heat= 1.08 x 200 x 100 = 21600 J⋅kg−1⋅K−1

21600 J⋅kg−1⋅K−1 is sensible heat when air flow from outside is 200 under the temperature change of 100 degree celsius.

Main Differences Between Specific Heat and Sensible Heat

  1. Both Specific Heat and Sensible Heat are important to understand the concept of Heating, Ventilation and Cooling systems. Both Specific Heat and Sensible Heat are important to understand the concept of Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling systems(HVAC).
  2. Specific Heat is introduced to understand the amount of heat required for different objects; whereas, Sensible Heat is introduced to sense the change of temperature merely by touching with hands.
  3. SI unit of Specific Heat is calories or joules per gram per Celsius degree; however, in the case of Sensible Heat, it is Joule per kilogram Kelvin.
  4. Equation of Specific Heat is C= Q/(M x T difference) and on the other hand, equation of Sensible Heat is Sensible Heat = 1.08 x rate of flow of air entering from outside x change in temperature.
  5. Specific Heat of water and air of the same mass is different depending on the substance. In the case of Sensible heat, the phase of the substance does not change only the temperature change takes place.

Conclusion

Specific Heat and Sensible Heat are types of thermal energies and both are vital for the cooling systems in this universe. With the understanding of both types of heat, the HVAC system can be better interpreted.

Specific Heat indicates heat required for substances at different temperatures; while Sensible Heat indicates the change in temperature merely by just touching with hands.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0038092X11001733
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009250917301914
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