Hydropower Engineering

Hydropower Generator (Hydro Turbine)

 

How Is It Generated?

 

Hydropower is actually generated quite simply. As long is there movement of water, it is possible to generate power because water is 500 times as dense as air. Even a slow stream will generate power as a result. When the water moves through a dame, or a confined space, it begins to rush faster as a result of more water going through a smaller space. When it does this, it turns turbines that then help to power a generator. The generator then sends power into batteries and converters in order to send power out or store it.

Types of Hydropower

 

Hydropower, specifically for the generation of electricity, comes in many forms beyond just the dams we all know and recognize. There is of course the dams, but also tidal power and wave power.


Currently, hydroelectric power supplies 19 percent of the world’s energy, which amounts to nearly 715,000 megawatts. Most of this comes in the form of large dams, like the Three Gorges Dam in China and the Hoover Dam in the United States.


The great thing about producing hydroelectricity in this manner is that there is no carbon dioxide emissions, or any burning of fossil fuels. For a world that is getting warmer due to rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, this is good new.


Tidal power is another method of hydroelectricity generation that has become very popular in France and Russia, as well as in Canada, which has the largest tides in the world at the Bay of Fundy. By harnessing the energy of the tides moving in and out of the bays or estuaries, it is possible to generate large amounts of energy. While it is predictable, this form of energy generation is not able to follow the changing in electrical demand like hydroelectricity from dams can.


Wave power can also be used to generate hydroelectricity. By harnessing the power from ocean surface wave motions, it is possible to generate much more electricity than can be achieved

 
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