Learning How Does Hydroelectricity Work

Hydroelectric power is considered as a renewable energy source, which means that this cannot be depleted. If other energy source, say oil can be depleted the hydropower on the other hand and the plants will continue on running as long as there is moving water that push the water turbines. But this is just a simplified rendition of how does hydroelectricity work.

Remember that there is a group of complex operations that generate this energy, and it’s important that anyone is interested in learning about the energy should also learn more about the operations of the plants and the dams.

In order to fully understand how does hydropower work it is important that one should get a proper understanding first of the water cycle. It is water and the water cycle that actually sustains the life of hydroelectric turbines.

And without water, then for sure you can count this water out. But then again, this will not happen in the real world. In the basic explanation of the water cycle, it should be noted that the solar energy will heat the water on the surface, thus this allows for the water to evaporate. The water vapor then condenses into the clouds and these fall back into the surface as precipitation like rain. And the water the flows back into the rivers and the oceans, thus this is where most of the action starts.

Hydroelectric power is produced by virtue of the presence of a turbine and the dam. In the simplest design, the water flows through the dam and in turn this action is that one that turns the hydroelectric generator. Here are the basic steps that can be observed in a hydropower plant.

1. It is the constructed dam that holds and stores the water upstream in the reservoir. Most of the dams that are used for hydropower generation serve multiple purposes. There are dams right now that are used for recreation purposes, just take a good look at the Lake Roosevelt and Coulee Dam.

2. The gates will the open the dam and this process allows for the gravity to pull the water through the penstock. The conduit then pushes the water from the reservoir into the turbines that are found in the powerhouse.

3. Water hits the blades of the turbine, allowing for the water to turn. The blades used are fitted through the shaft to the generator above. In most dams and plants, the turbine normally revolves 90 revolutions in 60 seconds. There is one direction movement for the blades with the magnets found in the generator. These magnets also rotate past the copper coils and the rotation movement produces alternating current.

4. The transformer in the plant will get the alternating current and effectively converts this to a higher-voltage current in order to be used by the end consumers.

These are the basics on the question of how does hydropower work. It may seem like a collection of simple operations, but generating electricity from water is labor-intensive as well and costly.