Interestingly hydroelectricity is one of the oldest scientific planned solutions to gain power. The inland cities of colonial America were not provided with fossil fuels so they have to find out some other source of power and they got it in terms of hydroelectricity. The industry of earlier colonial America grew only because of hydroelectricity. Flowing water proved to be a boon for their survival.When America got intact with rest of the world than coal came to replace hydro power as a more developed mean of energy. This substitution proved to be a blow to the growth of hydroelectricity which was abandoned until 20th century. Hydro power was focused due to the developments in electric generator. With the passage of time, the demand of electricity increased which in turn boosted the utilization of hydroelectricity. Large cities were equipped with hydroelectricity power plants.
How hydro power plant Works?
After this brief history, now let us focus on how the hydro electric power plant works. Unlike fossil fuels that burn to heat water to run the generators, hydroelectricity is produced by using the potency of running or flowing water. When water moves from some higher point to lower spot than it has kinetic energy which can be used to move the blades of turbines. The system depends mainly on the storage of water in a area called ‘forebay’. Big dams around large river are built to encompass large reserves of water near the hydroelectric power plant. Water runs into the electric generators by a passed named ‘penstock’. The water then spins the turbines than in turn produce energy by the virtue of generators. Power stations are made to store this energy. ‘Draft Tubes’ are made to give the high pressure water a smooth exit.
|Note: This video shows how hydro electricity plant works to produce renewal for of energy
There are three types of hydro power plant: Micro Scale, Small Scale and Run of the River. Micro Scale is the smallest available hydroelectricity plants supplying electricity from one kilo watt to one mega watt. They are used in far flung rural areas of developing countries to meet the need of small population. Small Scale is comparatively economical and reliable power plants. They can produce up to 20 mega watts of energy. They are planted to provide electricity to villages of developing countries worldwide. Run of the River does not use a dam and thus do not disturb the ecological order of water. These plants are built only in rivers where the flow of water remains consistent. The plant imposes threats to the water habitants but otherwise the system is perfect for creating renewable energy.
Now let us discuss the advantages of hydro power plant.
- After its construction, the dam costs nothing.
- The source, water, is inexhaustible.
- Neither pollution not residue produce as a result of hydroelectricity.
- It is more reliable than other renewable sources of energy like solar, wave and wind.
- The stored water can help in meeting the occasional increased demands of electricity.
- The power plant gets recharged earlier than other power sources. Thus the rate of production remains constant.
- The best part of this technique is its worldwide implementation.
However, there is always the other side of the picture. Now let us have a look at the disadvantages of the hydroelectricity.
- The biggest problem of hydro power plant is the change in the quality of water. Due to the nature of the system, water sometimes gets contaminated with nitrogen and phosphorus. At times it loses its oxygen.
- Aqua life is largely disturbed by such systems. This problem can be dealt with fish ladders – a path to divert the fish from the hydroelectric dams.
- The small plants depend on the natural flow or speed of the water.
- The dams are very expensive to build. However, these dams can also serve to control the flood so the cost can be shared between two projects.
Hydroelectricity is one of the finest renewable resources of energy and it is amazing to know that the (mountain) countries like New Zealand and Switzerland can alone fulfill half of the world’s demand of electricity. The method is easy to apply and of course very cheap, the investment is only one time and the advantage is life time. We must move towards replacing our fossil fuels with hydro plants to improve our environment and to meet the energy needs smoothlyAdvertisement
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- How hydro power plant Works?
- Types of Hydro Power Plants
- Advantages of Hydroelectricity Power Plants
- Disadvantages of Hydro Power Plants
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