Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How Does Hydro-Power Work?

The hydroelectric power station of Aswan Dam, ...Image via Wikipedia

Ever Wonder How Hydro Power Works? by Michael L Leigh

At the most basic level hydro- power works by converting falling water into electricity using turbines. An electricity generating turbine works by rotating a magnet within wiring to generate a magnetic field which is converted to electrical current.

Of course, the most common hydro power is a hydroelectric dam. The first and most important component of a dam is the reservoir. A river is blocked off to create the reservoir which results in the water level rising. This increase in water level is what will ultimately allow the generation of electricity from the dam. Once the reservoir and hydro power dam has been created there is a lot of potential energy stored on the reservoir side of the dam.

There is an intake that allows water to flow from the reservoir into the dam. This intake can be controlled to allow for more or less flow depending on power demands. Many intakes do allow fish inside and the turbines are specially designed to minimize damage to the fish flowing through. In line with the intake will be the turbine fan which will be spun by the flowing water thus generating electricity. After this the water continues to the outtake and back into the river it came from.

Attached to the turbine is a shaft leading to an electric generator. Most hydro power dams include multiple turbines and electrical generators. The intake leading to each one can be turned on and off allowing for maintenance or increased/decreased load in the electrical grid.

Learning how hydro power works is an important step in understanding the various types of renewable energy that are available to humans. In addition to hydroelectric dams there are also water mills, tidal power, and wave power which all use water to generate electricity.

Check out this page if you'd like to learn more about how hydro power works. I hope this lesson has been useful and you can find more at Renewable Energy Future if you're curious how various renewable energy technologies work. Take care.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Michael_L_Leigh


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