Hydropower is created by the force of falling water.
Hydro Energy is a renewable energy source.
Electricity created using hydropower is known as hydroelectricity.
Hydro energy is the energy available in either running or falling water or both, which may be harnessed for useful purposes such as irrigation, power houses, saw mills etc. Since ancient times, hydro energy has been used to irrigate the farms and to power mills to grind grains. The modern way to harness the hydro energy is by using turbines that have been crafted using modern technology and machines.
The insdustrial revolution is to be thanked for the growth of the modern turbines that can harness more energy from the hydro energy source with very high efficiency.
Hydro energy is basically the potential energy stored in a body of water held at a given height, which is technically called as head, is converted to kinetic energy (energy due to motion of a body) which is used to turn a turbine and generate electricity.
Also, mechanical energy can be derived by directing, harnessing, or channeling moving water into a path in which a wheel maybe used to extract the energy from the kinetic energy of the stream.. The amount of available energy in moving water is determined by its flow or fall.
In the first case, the water is channeled to flow through a penstock (pipe) and is made to push against a turbine that rotates. This rotation of the turbine causes its shaft to rotate along with it. The shaft is connected to an electric generator which will produce electrical energy when rotated at a certain speed.
The second case a process known as diversion, or run-of-the-river is used. Portions of water from fast-flowing rivers, often at or near waterfalls, can be diverted through a penstock to a turbine set in the river or off to the side. One good example is the generating station at Niagara Falls which is of diversion hydropower type.
Another run-of-the-river design uses a traditional water wheel on a floating platform to capture the kinetic force of the moving river. While this approach is inexpensive and easy to implement, it doesn't produce much power. A rough calculation says if the entire Amazon River, if harnessed this way, would produce only 650 MW of power which is way too less to what can actually be harnessed.
The current status says the there is more than 90 GW of pumped storage capacity worldwide, with about one-quarter of that in the United States. Future increases in pumped storage capacity could result from the integration of hydropower and wind power technologies. Researchers believe that hydropower may be able to act as a battery for wind power by storing water during high wind periods.
More information on "What is Hydro Energy" will be updated soon