Electricity Generation Through Water: Few Preliminary Points & Ideas

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?

Step 1

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 

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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. 

Step 4

The kinetic energy of running water rotates the turbine, and then the turbine turns the generator. 

Step 5

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.

Conclusion

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.

An Introductory Guide On Solar Water Pumping System

Introduction

Solar and other renewable energy-driven solutions have come to the center stage recently due to the growing sustainability concerns occasioned by the ever-growing global warming activities. It is from this perspective that I would like us to look at one of the most practical solar solutions in the form of a solar water pump. 

Water is essential for human life, and access to clean water to a large extent, determines the quality of life of an individual as well as their susceptibility to disease and ill health. Solar water pumping systems have the distinct advantage of being perfectly suited for off-grid locations where most people still lack access to clean water. 

One of the greatest hindrances to water distribution is lack of access to pumping power, especially in rural areas where both diesel and electricity may not be readily accessible. In this article, we will be looking at how a solar-powered water pumping system works.

Components

The key components of a solar water pump are the photovoltaic panel, commonly known as the solar panel, which is the power supplier to the system. The power generated by the panel is used to power an electric motor, which converts the electricity into pressure used to pump water over a certain distance. Depending on the height and distance the water is intended to be pumped over, different motors of different capabilities are available in the market. Another key component is the control electronics that create a friendly user interface with the system and give additional functionalities for improved convenience.

1. Solar Panel

Usually, this should be the last component to acquire after determining how much power is needed to pump the water to the desired destination so that the right panels can be procured. 

Typically, a solar system will be powered by several solar panels with the number to incorporate in each system being dependent on the amount of power it’s required to generate. A single panel is made of several photovoltaic cells averaging between sixty and seventy again, depending on the power requirement per panel. 

The photovoltaic cells generate electricity by absorbing light energy from the sun, which knocks loose electrons in the silicon semiconductors they are made from. The silicon is treated in such a way as to create an electric field, which causes the electrons to move in one direction across the semiconductor, creating an electric current. The metal cells on the edge of each cell then capture the electricity and transfer the energy through a solar converter to the electric motor. 

Two types of solar cells are available, namely monocrystalline and polycrystalline, which are differentiated by the number of crystals used to make them.

The monocrystalline cell is made from a single crystal, as the name suggests, while the polycrystalline is made from multiple crystals. The monocrystalline is more efficient but also more expensive. Again, the choice between these two will depend on the intended output as well as the budget available for the project.

On the side note, you can check the smart solar box review website where it describes about a product applying latest solar innovation.

2. The water Pump

This is the component responsible for pumping water from the source to the desired destination. Several types of solar pumps exist differing in range, working mechanism as well as the location in relation to the water level. Some of the common types include the submersible water pumps and surface solar pumps. When it comes to the internal workings of the pumps, we have the centrifugal pump and the positive displacement pump, both of which work very well in a solar-powered water pumping system. 

The Centrifugal pump consists of an impeller with blades rotating within an enclosed space known as the casing. Electricity from the solar panel is applied to rotate the impeller, which is at the center of the pump. As the impeller rotates, water is sucked in through the eye on one end of the casing and whirled around at high speeds in unison to the rotation of the impeller. This gives the water very high velocity and pressure as it leaves the diffuser on the other end of the casing, which in turn thrusts the water to the desired destination.

Depending on the desired pressure, different centrifugal pump systems are available, including the single-stage, two-stage and multi-stage, with the single-stage having a single impeller while the two stages have two impellers and the multi-stage having three or more impellers and being the most suitable for high-pressure requirements.

The positive displacement pump is made of a piston moving up and down a cylinder and powered by the electrical power coming from the solar panel. The upward movement traps a fixed volume of water in one end of the cylinder, and as the piston moves back down, forces the trapped water out under pressure on the other end of the cylinder.

3. The Control Electronics

This component is responsible for the efficient management of the entire solar water pumping system and is composed of different functionalities enabling the user to manage the system even from a distance. This includes aspects such as a pumping schedule management, flow rate control, and in recent times additional smart functionalities are available, including a notification system and an ability to link the system to a home computer or a mobile phone for even greater convenience.

Conclusion

Lastly, it is important to note while most solar powered systems do not require the use of batteries, where the system is required to work at night, batteries may be necessary to store the power generated by the solar panels for use at night when the panels are not generating more power. Where the pumps are only expected to work during the day, a storage tank might be useful as a last component to the system to ensure constant flow even at night when the pump is not working.