About 20% of global electricity demand is met by hydropower. It is the most widely deployed technology, renewable energy generation, with the largest market share in the world. All conventional energy resources, including crude oil and coal fuel use based on the power contained in chemical bonds, which is extracted through the oxidation of these fuels to generate energy. However, it also generates many pollutants, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the process, that are byproducts of combustion. On the other hand, hydropower use only the driving force provided by the water that falls under the influence of gravity to generate electricity, produce no pollutants in the process, while considerable energy production. Through this article Buzzle, which provides a simple explanation of how hydroelectric works to provide a constant supply of electricity.
About Electric Power Generators
It is essential to have a little background on how the generators, to fully understand how hydroelectric plants built on rivers, high water level jobs. All power generators or dynamos work based on Faraday’s law, which is also the inventor of the device. Faraday’s law states that a changing magnetic field induces an electric current in a conductor. In an electric generator or dynamo, this principle is used to generate energy, spinning a metal rotor through a magnetic field to generate electrical power.
As the rotor cuts through the magnetic field flux, electric current is generated in the rotor, which can be transferred and stored away from electrical devices. On the other hand a magnet can be rotated around an electrical conductor to generate alternating current therein. All power plants generating electricity from huge dynamos with giant magnets installed on the inside and the rotors are driven by several methods. In case of a hydroelectric power plant, the rotors are driven by turbines connected, which in turn, are driven by water falling from great heights. Let me describe the generation of hydroelectric power in more detail.
How does hydroelectric power?
The first hydropower plant was built by William Armstrong at Cragside, in Northumberland, England in 1881. Interestingly, this first plant could produce only enough to power a light bulb! Today, hydroelectric power to generate enough electricity to power cities. All hydroelectric plants are necessarily around water sources like rivers, waterfalls and dams. This is a rational phase composition as hydropower plants work by converting mechanical energy from falling water into electricity.
Phase 1: Water falling from a high altitude turbine units
Each floor has a water source that can deliver large volumes of water from high altitude. A turbine, which is usually a big wheel with blades attached is placed in the path of the falling water, so that its impact is rotated. As the water that flows falls into the turbine, a torque is induced in the turbine, rotating. Large hydro turbines have a series of position at different heights on the path of flowing water.
Step 2: Rotate the magnet generator turbines to produce electricity
The turbines are connected to electric generators installed above them. As the turbine begins to rotate, the shaft connected to the generator, makes giant magnets installed on the inside to turn around a centrally placed driver, generating alternating current therein. This current is supplied to a transformer, which converts the input voltage to provide a higher output voltage.
Phase 3: Power lines carry energy away from building
This energy is then supplied to the power lines that supply the electrical output range to power plants, for distribution to households and industries. Therefore, the mechanical force of falling water is converted into electricity through the ingenious use of the turbine and generator mechanism. You may want to check out this article that discusses the pros and cons of hydroelectric power.
Using the gravity constant source of motive power, hydroelectric power is the cleanest and most cost effective technology for power generation has been developed. All power generation technologies to others such as nuclear and coal power plants pollute the environment based, in addition to requiring expensive fuels and fast depleting. The world’s largest hydroelectric project is currently based in Three Gorges along the Yangtze River in Hubei province of China, which generates a phenomenal 18,200 MW of electricity!
As the impact of pollution on our environment increases, it is increasingly important that we tap into such renewable energy sources. We hope this article has left no doubt in your mind about how hydropower works to provide a clean source of energy.