As we all know water energy is the energy that is taken from water. As such we all know energy cannot be created so where this energy comes from? Yes the gravitational force of the earth provides the water with energy. Water has energy within itself. It has two types of energy. Water has potential energy when it is stored and kinetic energy is used during motion. So the potential energy is unused so using this power is generated from water.

Let’s check in detail. Water has potential energy when stored. So this potential energy is converted into kinetic energy when the water is made to fall or flow. So when the stored water from the reservoir flows’ through the dams it gets kinetic energy this is due to the action of the gravitational power of water. This kinetic energy gets converted into mechanical energy when this water strikes the turbine blades. The turbine spins and mechanical energy is created. This mechanical energy gets converted into electrical energy with the help of the generator and this power is carried to all places of need with the help of the power lines connected to them.

Water Energy Sources

From the name we can find out that water is the source of water energy. Water is provided by the nature to the mankind. How this water forms? This is mainly and majorly due to the sun’s power or energy. The solar energy; this solar energy enhances the hydrologic cycle which in turn provides water. The moisture in the atmosphere reaches the earth’s surface as precipitation. A portion of which gets evaporated and the other percolates the soil and forms the surface runoff. The other sources include melting snow, rain. The water is stored in rivers, ponds, reservoirs, oceans during rain. This helps in the evaporation process to continue. During the conditions of drought the surface water moves up to the soil and reaches the atmosphere as moisture. Thus the cycle continues. So water is a renewable source of energy. The water cycle continues without a break thus the flow of water is maintained.

The water is harnessed to produce electricity in many ways as follows.

Water Energy Sources

The water is harnessed to produce electricity in many ways as follows

  • Conventional methods
  • Pumped- storage systems
  • Run-of-the river method
  • Tidal method
  • Underground systems

Water Energy Sources : Conventional methods

Conventional method is the age old method in the process of electricity production. In this method water gets stored in the reservoir and the water is made to flow down the dam which in turn flows through the turbine shafts and then the generators connected to them produce electricity which gets transferred to the households.

Water Energy Sources : Pumped- storage systems

This method is the advanced model of the convention method. This was developed in Italy and Switzerland by 1890. This has two reservoirs at different levels. This method is mainly developed to meet out energy needs during heavy demand. The whole mechanism is during the time of less power demands the excess power is used to pump the water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir. So when the demand increases water is made to release from the upper reservoir and then it flows through the turbine blades and the generators to produce electricity. Because as the power generated depends on the height and amount of water that flows into the turbine the more the height the power generation also increases.

Water Energy Sources : Run-of-the river method

This method has power generator at a lower level because construction of reservoirs is not possible in these areas. So the water cannot be stored and reused. In this method water that flows down the stream or river is directly made to pass through the turbines to generate power. This is also subject to climatic conditions. This cannot operate during the times of drought.

Water Energy Sources : Tidal method

In this method the day to day rise and fall of the water in the ocean and sea due to tides is used to generate power. The waves are formed due to the gravitational pull of the moon and sun. When it rises and falls they are made to flow through the mouths of bays and narrow points where turbines are places to generate power. This is one of the upcoming methods and lot of research is going on to improvise further and use the energy. The CSIRO has estimated that by 2050 the energy generated by wave can contribute up to 11 percent of total electricity in Australia.

Water Energy Sources : Underground systems

This is the latest development which uses the difference in the height between two water ways. This is more different from other power stations. They are constructed underground from rocks. This is done by excluding major components like machines, penstocks. It is done from the rocks.


 

Water Energy Sources : Interesting Facts

  • The run-of-the river,Belo Monte Dam, in Brazil has the capacity to produce11, 233 MW of power 


  • The first large- scale tidal power plant is the Rance tidal power plant put up in France , which operated during 1966

  • Chaira underground power plant is the largest underground power plant. This is located in Bulgaria and operated during 1980-1998.

Steam energy

 

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