Isn’t it amazing how the power of running water can generate electricity? In most instances, people take it for granted. However, hydroelectric power forms part of the routine in our lives.
Whenever you flip on a light, you preserve your meals in refrigerators and turn on your TV for entertainment. Regards to hydroelectric power for powering all these actions.
Please don’t take it for granted. It is a very deliberate effort before you can flip the switch and enjoy the comfort of having light in your house.
Several things take place to generate hydroelectric power. So, how is electricity generated from water? How do you get hydropower?
Water from the dam flows through the penstock. A dam is built to raise the water levels and create falling water. It also helps control the water movement. The dam you form is a kind of stored energy. You construct a barrier to stop the flow of the river by creating a reservoir behind it
Running water has the energy to turn the blades in the turbine, making them rotate. You use a similar kind of turbine to that in the power plant. But instead, the power of water is used to turn it. Energy from falling water will turn the blades of the turbine, making them rotate. A water turbine works like windmills only that falling water turns the turbines. The role of the turbine is to convert the kinetic energy in the running water to mechanical energy.
The turbine has a connection to the generator. As the turbine rotates, it turns the generator, making it rotate, with that it converts the mechanical energy resulting from the process to electrical power. Hydropower generators have the same working principle as other generators. The main difference here is that it uses water instead of wind.
The kinetic energy of running water rotates the turbine, and then the turbine turns the generator.
The electricity is transmitted over long distances to homes, factories, schools, and other facilities through the transmission lines.
Can You Determine the Amount of Energy Your Dam Can Produce?
That can be done quite quickly. You may have a dam around your home that has been in use for recreation or irrigation. If you want to know the amount of energy it can produce, then you will need to know two crucial things:
i) Amount of water flowing in the river by consulting with the state’s water agencies to help you determine the volume.
ii) Also, know the distance of the waterfalls.
If you have already determined the two, then proceed to make the calculations. The following formula is used to determine the amount of power produced.
Power= efficiency* height of the dam *river flow
With that, you are able to know the amount of power available in your local dam. Importantly, before you decide to build a hydroelectric dam, it is worth consulting with water engineers for them to help you determine the potential of the available resource.
Also, contact the resource offices around to establish the ease of getting a permit that is needed for you to produce hydroelectric power.
How Much Energy Can the Hydroelectric Power Make?
The amount of energy generated from hydroelectric power depends again on the same two things:
The size of falling water: When a lot of water is used to turn the turbines, it will generate more energy. The amount of water flowing down the river determines the amount available for use in generating power. A big flowing river has the capacity to produce more power. The more the water, then the more energy it can produce.
The height of the waterfalls: The longer the distance of the waterfalls, the more power it has—the height through which the waterfalls will depend on how big the dam is. A higher damn has more height and, in turn, more energy.
Simply, hydroelectric power results from the moving water to provide clean energy. In the whole procedure, kinetic energy is converted to mechanical energy than finally into electrical energy. Here is a detailed article for this topic: https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/how-electricity-is-generated.php
The use of water as a source of electricity is recommendable since its environmentally friendly. Unlike other sources such as the use of coal to make electricity, water has the least negative impact on the environment.
Fuel needs to be burnt to produce electricity. With fuel it has to be burnt, which impacts negatively on the environment as it provides greenhouse gases that lead to climate change. Also, if you burn coal, it gets depleted, but water keeps running due to the natural cycle that takes place. Therefore, hydroelectric power is s renewable and very sustainable source of energy.
Additionally, the hydro turbines convert about 90% of the available water energy to electricity, making it reliable as well.