How does hydropower work
In its natural environment where you have a continuous flow of water stream like a river and where the surroundings are favorable to create a water reservoir on a higher
ground level, a dam is constructed across the river to obstruct the water flow. The water behind the dam will rise forming a water reservoir.
Micro hydroelectric plant
The water level of the reservoir is controlled by opening and closing of ports (intakes) which are constructed in the dam. The intake is connected, through a pipe called a Penstock, to a turbine (a sort of water wheel) which is located at a lower level in the dam. In small sized micro hydro systems, water wheels are used instead of water turbines.
The force of the falling water will cause the turbine, at the end of the Penstock, to rotate. The turbine is connected with a metal shaft to a hydro electric generator, located above the turbine. (Using the same principle as the wind turbine, where the rotating blades are connected to the wind generator).
As the turbine spins, the hydro generator will spin accordingly producing hydroelectricity.
Small Hydro Power Plant
Advantages of hydroelectric energy.
The conversion of hydro energy to electric energy produces no contaminated byproducts and will not pollute the atmosphere with toxic CO2 gasses and is self replenish. Thus this type of energy belongs to the sustainable renewable alternative energy sources.
This hydro energy production is very low in operating costs.
A hydroelectric dam is a recommended tourist attraction and will contribute to the flow of tourist at the site.
A dam in river or water stream usually blocks the natural migration of fish up and down the river and thus has a negative impact on the ecology.
The water reservoir on the other hand will cause floods and inundation that will destroy trees and vegetation in the flooded areas and with it the living habits of wildlife and birds.
No rainfall can influence the production of electricity.
Three Gorges Dam China
The 5 most largest Dams in the World
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