Mechanical energy is generated from a system and is the sum of the kinetic and potential energy in this system. Mechanical energy is generated when the object in the system is in motion or at a different position compared to a zero energy position.
Kinetic energy in a mechanical system is generated when the object is in motion while the potential energy can also be referred to as stored energy. A moving car, for example, generates kinetic energy as it is a mechanical system that is in motion. A weight or object that is lifted from its starting position but remains stationary afterwards is considered to have potential energy.
Kinetic mechanical energy is generated from any kind of motion, such as vibration, rotation and translation. Potential mechanical energy is the amount of energy stored inside an object or mechanical system due to its relative position or object configuration. Both types of energy has a standard measurement unit called the joule.
Mechanical energy exists in every type of system in existence and includes numerous everyday examples. A baseball being thrown or a car in motion generates mechanical energy due to its movement. Gravity can also help generate mechanical energy in a system when it pulls down an object from a higher location.