What are some sources of hydroelectric energy?

by Guest9491  |  12 years, 11 month(s) ago

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What are some sources of hydroelectric energy?

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  1. Neel Patel

    Hydro resources are still abundant in Latin America, Central Africa, India and China. A hydroelectric plant uses falling water to turn the turbine. Producing electricity using hydroelectric power has some advantages over other power-producing methods.



  2. amomipais82
    Most hydroelectric power comes from the potential energy of dammed water driving a water turbine and generator. In this case the energy extracted from the water depends on the volume and on the difference in height between the source and the water's outflow. This height difference is called the head. The amount of potential energy in water is proportional to the head. To obtain very high head, water for a hydraulic turbine may be run through a large pipe called a penstock.

    Pumped storage hydroelectricity produces electricity to supply high peak demands by moving water between reservoirs at different elevations. At times of low electrical demand, excess generation capacity is used to pump water into the higher reservoir. When there is higher demand, water is released back into the lower reservoir through a turbine. Pumped storage schemes currently provide the only commercially important means of large-scale grid energy storage and improve the daily load factor of the generation system. Hydroelectric plants with no reservoir capacity are called run-of-the-river plants, since it is not then possible to store water. A tidal power plant makes use of the daily rise and fall of water due to tides; such sources are highly predictable, and if conditions permit construction of reservoirs, can also be dispatchable to generate power during high demand periods.

    Less common types of hydro schemes use water's kinetic energy or undammed sources such as undershot waterwheels.
    Calculating the amount of available power

    A simple formula for approximating electric power production at a hydroelectric plant is: P = ρhrgk, where P is Power in watts, ρ is the density of water (~1000 kg/m3), h is height in meters, r is flow rate in cubic meters per second, g is acceleration due to gravity of 9.8 m/s2, and k is a coefficient of efficiency ranging from 0 to 1. Efficiency is often higher (that is, closer to 1) with larger and more modern turbines.

    Annual electric energy production depends on the available water supply. In some installations the water flow rate can vary by a factor of 10:1 over the course of a year.
    Industrial hydroelectric plants

    While many hydroelectric projects supply public electricity networks, some are created to serve specific industrial enterprises. Dedicated hydroelectric projects are often built to provide the substantial amounts of electricity needed for aluminium electrolytic plants, for example. In the Scottish Highlands of United Kingdom, there are examples at Kinlochleven and Lochaber, constructed during the early years of the 20th century. The Grand Coulee Dam, long the world's largest, switched to support Alcoa aluminum in Bellingham, Washington, United States for American World War II airplanes before it was allowed to provide irrigation and power to citizens (in addition to aluminum power) after the war. In Suriname, the Brokopondo Reservoir was constructed to provide electricity for the Alcoa aluminium industry. New Zealand's Manapouri Power Station was constructed to supply electricity to the aluminium smelter at Tiwai Point. As of 2007 the Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Project in Iceland remains controversial
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