Saturday, June 13, 2009

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY: Utilizing Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric damImage of a hydro-electric dam via Wikipedia

Utilizing Hydroelectric Energy by Tom Schlessinger

In our quest for becoming a greener Earth, one of the best solutions is the continued usage and utilization of hydroelectric energy. Hydroelectric energy is created by utilizing the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. This process is quite reminiscent of the way that wind energy is created. Most people don't know, but roughly 7% of the utilized power in the United States is created using hydroelectric energy.

One common procedure to do so is by damming up water flowing in a river behind a large concrete wall. This water holds a large amount of potential energy. As it falls from the dam, it flows through a turbine with rotary blades. Electromagnets spin within the turbine as the water flows through it and a current is created. The energy is transferred to coils. These coils take the current to a transformer and the voltage is multiplied for transmission to homes and businesses through power lines.

This rather elegant method of creating energy without drilling for coal or burning fossil fuels enables us to benefit from a natural resource to create hydroelectric energy. This energy source not only does not pollute the Earth's atmosphere but also reduces green house gasses, and consequently, the threat of global warming. Better yet, this energy is virtually limitless, as the water from streams and rivers is provided by rain fall and is naturally replenished.

Other advantages of this energy are that water is also a generally an available resource in many countries and eliminates the cost of the fuel used for this power source. Once hydroelectric power plants are built on waterways they are relatively inexpensive to operate. As the technology continues to mature, it is likely that power resource will become even more efficient and widespread.

Regardless of the source of electricity, whether it is created using wind, water, oil or coal, the benefits we gain are endless. Currently, water provides the electricity needed for homes and businesses around the world. This electricity operates everything from house hold appliances to wireless devices and large production equipment. Hydroelectric energy can also be stored to be later used in a motor vehicle to reduce our dependence on fuel.

In this article we've introduced Hydroelectric Energy to the reader. If you liked this article and would like to read more articles of the sort, please visit Green Planet And Me.

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