The water is held behind a dam, forming an artificial lake, or reservoir. The force of the water being released from the reservoir through the dam spins the blades of a giant turbine. The turbine is connected to the generator that makes electricity as it spins. After passing through the turbine, the water flows back into the river on the other side of the dam.

How does hydro energy work

The primitive method to extract hydro energy is to place a water wheel, a wheel with buckets at its ends, in running or falling stream of water. This would rotate the wheel, from which the rotational energy can be used.

The modern method is to extract the energy using a turbine and a dam. The dam serves as a source of potential energy of the water. The water arrives with a potential energy, which is converted to rotational-kinetic energy in the turbine. The turbine is coupled to a generator to produce electrical energy.

Hydroplants range in size from "micro-hydros" that power only a few homes to giant dams like the Hoover Dam that provide electricity for millions of people.

 

 

Parts of a Hydroelectric Plant

Dam

Turbine

Generator

Transmission lines


Dam

The dams raise the water level of the river to create falling water. It also controls the flow of water. The reservoir that is formed is, in effect, stored energy.


 

Turbine

The force of falling water pushing against the turbine's blades causes the turbine to spin. A water turbine is much like a windmill, except the energy is provided by falling water instead of wind. The turbine converts the kinetic energy of falling water into mechanical energy. The turbine is connected to a shaft which connects the generator, effectively coupling the turbine and generator.

Generator

The generator is connected to the turbine by shafts and possibly gears so when the turbine spins it causes the generator to spin also. It converts the mechanical energy from the turbine into electric energy. Generators in hydropower plants work just like the generators in other types of power plants.


Transmission lines

These carry the electricity from the hydropower plant to homes and business.


 

How Much Electricity Can a Hydroelectric Plant Make?

The amount of electricity a hydropower plant produces depends on two factors:

How Far the Water Falls. The farther the water falls, the more power it has. Generally, the distance that the water falls depends on the size of the dam. The higher the dam, the farther the water falls and the more power it has. Scientists would say that the power of falling water is "directly proportional" to the distance it falls. In other words, water falling twice as far has twice as much energy.

 

Amount of Water Falling

More water falling through the turbine will produce more power. The amount of water available depends on the amount of water flowing down the river. Bigger rivers have more flowing water and can produce more energy. Power is also "directly proportional" to river flow. A river with twice the amount of flowing water as another river can produce twice as much energy.

Working

The water that is stored in the dam is at a potential. This water has energy stored in it. As the water falls through the pen stock, it gathers more kinetic energy. At the end of the penstock, the water is ejected out of a nozzle where the potential energy is converted to Kinetic energy. The nozzle aims the water to push the turbines. The turbine starts rotating due to the force of the water. This rotation causes it to rotate the generators which produce energy which is carried to our homes through the transmission lines.


 

How does hydro energy work

More information on How does hydro energy work will be updated soon

Steam energy

 

How - Hydro Energy - Work - Power – Different – Various – All – Other – How Many – Renewal – Sources – Resources – Light – Electrical – Alternative – Chemical – Stored – Main – Kids – Children – Schools – Kinetic – Educational – Sun – List – Chart – Facts – Info – Information – Thermal – Nuclear – Wind – Mechanical – System – Basic – Conservation – Clean – Green – Solar – Natural – Definition – Units – Magnetic – Heat – Radiation – Radiant – Gravitational – Sound – Elastic – Nuclear – Microwave – Steam – Turbine – Water – Watt – Jewel – Internal – External – Combustion – Renewable - Transmission – How - Hydro Energy - Work