How to work Hydropower or Hydroelectricity
Hydropower, in other words, hydroelectricity refers to the conversion of energy from flowing water into electricity. Authorities consider hydropower as a renewable energy source because the Sun constantly renew the water cycle.
One of the first uses of hydro energy was for mechanical milling such as grinding grains. However, today, modern hydro plants produce electricity using turbines and generators. The mechanical energy forms by moving water spin rotors on a turbine. Afterwards, the power turbine is connected to an electromagnetic generator which produces electricity when the turbine spins.
There are Two Main Types of Hydroelectricity Production
They are dams and run of the river. Therefore hydropower dams prefer the potential energy from dammed water to produce electric power. A dam is a massive barrier constructed because the aim is to raise the level of water and control. Thus, its flow and elevation created by the dam create a gravitational force for turning the turbine when water is released.
Some dams also contain an additional reservoir at their best where water is stored to be pumped to the higher tank for release when electricity is in demand. Also, this refers to as pumped-storage. The second form is hydroelectricity production is running of river hydro runoff river still uses turbines and generators. However, natural water flows rates of streams diverting just a portion of the water through turbines because hydropower is subject to natural water variability. Therefore, it is more intermittent than dammed hydro various huge hydro plants produce electricity.
- Large hydro produces more than 30 megawatts.
- Small hydro produces 100 kilowatts to 30 megawatts.
- Micro-hydro produces less than 100 kilowatts
The Hoover Dam in the United States is a whopping 2074 megawatts. It is enough to serve 1.3 million people of all renewable energy sources hydropower holds the largest share of worldwide electricity production.
Hydropower has Many Benefits.
- It is cost-competitive.
- It is reliable
- Base-Load Power
- Flood Control
- Water Supply
There are also some concerns with hydropower. Especially when it comes to large dams. Also, changing wildlife habitats blocking fish passage and often forcing people in riverside communities to move out of their homes. Besides, dam failures can lead to environmental disaster claiming the lives of those living downstream. Hydro plants are also not completely free of greenhouse (no C02) gas emission. It means the renewable energy power has no harm.
As with most forms of energy, carbon dioxide (C02) emission happens during the construction. Therefore, plant matter in the flooded areas makes methane.