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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Hydroelectric Energy: Uses and Benefits of Hydropower - How is Hydroelectricity Generated?

Hydroelectric Energy
How is hydroelectric power generated?

Hydroelectric Energy: Uses and Benefits of Hydropower - How is Hydroelectricity Generated?


Hydroelectric energy is one of the best sources of renewable energy on Earth. Hydroelectricity results from the movement of water, whether from waterfalls or waves in rivers or oceans. Hydropower is an important trend in most countries to produce electricity from water.

What is Hydroelectric Energy?

Hydroelectric energy, also known as hydroelectric power or simply hydropower, is a form of energy that is inspired by the constant and inexhaustible movement of falling water. Hydropower is one of the most important sources of renewable energy. In recent times, the importance of hydropower has expanded to become the number one source of renewable energy.
Hydropower is electricity generated using energy from moving water, whether from rain or melting snow, usually emitted from hills and mountains and by creating streams and rivers that are eventually run into the ocean. The energy used by the water moves dramatically.
This energy has been exploited for centuries. Since the Greeks, farmers have used water wheels to grind wheat into flour. It is placed in the river, the water wheel to catch the flowing water in the buckets and to be located at the wheel. The kinetic energy of the river is flowing turning a rush that is converted into mechanical energy to be run by a mill.
The water level behind the dam flows through handling and pushing against the turbine blades. The turbine drives the generator to produce electricity. The amount of electricity that can be generated depends on how much water drops and how much water is moving through the system. Electricity can travel over long-distance power lines to homes, factories and businesses.
Hydropower is the cheapest way to generate electricity today. It is the source of clean fuel that can be renewed annually by snow and rain. Hydropower is also readily available. Engineers can control the flow of water through a turbine to produce electricity on demand. In addition, cabinets can provide recreational opportunities, such as swimming and boating. However, rivers and dam construction may destroy or disrupt wildlife and other natural resources. Some fish, such as salmon, may be prevented from swimming against the current to spawn. Hydropower plants can also cause a decrease in dissolved oxygen levels in the water.

Brief History of Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric energy was first exploited in the Empire of Rome, where it was used for the purpose of operating flour mills and grain production, and later moved to China and various countries of the Far East, and in the 1830s the use of hydropower peaked. In the late 19th century, hydropower became a source of electricity. The first hydroelectric power plant was built in Niagara Falls in 1879. In 1881, street lights in Niagara Falls were powered by hydropower. In 1882, the world's first hydropower plant began operating in the United States in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Hydropower provides about one-fifth of the electricity used in the world. China, Canada, Brazil, the United States, and Russia were the world's top five hydropower producers in 2004. China is the world's largest hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 18,000 MW. and there is the biggest dam in china known as "Three Gorges Dam".
The reservoir for this filling facility began in 2003 but is unlikely to be fully ready until 2009.
The largest water plant of the Great Dam in the United States is located in Cooley on the Columbia River in northern Washington. More than 70 percent of the electricity generated in Washington State is produced from hydroelectric power plants.

Evolution of the use of hydropower
The world has witnessed great development.  The use of hydropower to reach a wide stage in this area is the production of hydropower. The development has increased until the extent of this area to the use of hydropower to generate electricity in various ways. You know that science does not stop at something. Every day comes new and new, and many believe that the use of hydropower for this purpose is the latest use of it. But the reality of the most recent use of hydropower to this day is the use of water to chop things through momentum. This may make it easier for you to realize that there are many new uses that will come to us in the near future.

Types of Hydroelectric Energy

Hydropower is divided into two main types depending on the method used to produce electric energy from water.
The first type of hydroelectric power production is based on power plants that rely on watersheds from places where they benefit from the power of falling water from uplands, so dams are created in all major river streams to facilitate the process of controlling and storing water on demand from electricity.
The second type is the production of hydropower, which is used to produce electricity from flowing water in rivers.
The energy produced from the use of the flow of river water is much less than the electricity produced from the use of high watersheds. The first type, which is the use of high-altitude projects has a great advantage distinguishes it from the other type in the possibility of controlling the hydroelectric power produced by the electric power plant. Dams allow water to be stored in reservoirs above ground level, making them suitable for producing electric power when needed. The most widely used type worldwide is, therefore, the first type, which is the use of high watersheds and the dependence on dams.

Types of Hydropower Plants
Hydropower is the power derived from the power of mobile water, which is widely used to produce electricity, among other useful purposes. Hydropower is a versatile energy and flexible technology. In terms of generating capacity, water accounts for eight of the world's top dozen power plants. There are four broad types of hydropower plants:

Run of the river hydroelectricity (ROR):
Run of the river hydroelectricity includes any facility water channels flowing from the river through the canal. The operating project from the river is usually followed by little or no storage facility. The movement of the river provides a constant supply of electricity (primary load), with some flexibility in the operations of daily fluctuations in demand through the flow of water regulated by the facility.

Hydroelectric energy storage:
This extensive system is usually followed in the use of the dam to store water in the reservoir. Electricity is produced by releasing water from the tank through a turbine that activates the generator. It provides hydropower storage for the basic load as well as shutdown capability to start up in a short time according to system requirements (peak load). It can provide sufficient storage capacity to operate independently by hydrological flow for several weeks or even months.

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity:
Pumped-storage hydroelectricity supplies by harnessing the water that flows between the lower and upper reservoir of pumps used by excess capacity from the system in times of low demand. When the demand for electricity is high, water is released to the bottom tank through the turbine to produce electricity.

Marine renewable energy (MRE) sources:
Marine renewable energy (MRE) is the least well-established but growing set of technologies used for tidal currents or wave power to generate electricity from seawater.
These technologies can often overlap. For example, storage projects can involve an element of pumping to supplement the water flowing into the natural reservoir, and operating from the river to provide projects for some storage capacity.

How is Hydroelectricity Generated?

The generation of electric power through hydropower is a very simple scientific method. If you understand the principle that energy is not annihilated or created out of nowhere, you have reached half the idea. Now you have to look for the energy contained in water and know how to convert it into another form of energy such as electric energy.
It is known that the easiest type of energy that can be converted to direct electric energy is kinetic energy. In the research, it was found that the water located in high places inside the dams contain a large amount of mode energy that is easily converted to kinetic energy when the water falls down. This kinetic energy is used to run a turbine and then the kinetic energy generated in the turbine is converted into electricity using an electric transformer. The kinetic energy produced depends on the height of the water. It also depends on the amount of water. The greater the quantity, the greater the mass, and the greater the force of gravity which increases the speed. Increasing the speed in both cases increases the movement of the turbine and then increases the electrical energy generated by the electric transformer. Hydroelectricity production is much greater than that of dams, where there are two factors: the amount of water and the high altitude. The efficiency of the turbine, the transformer and the energy lost from the friction of water cannot be neglected. So the hydroelectric power plant depends on three things: altitude, water flow and efficiency of both the turbine and the electrical transformer.

The Uses of Hydroelectric Energy

Electric power is a necessity of life. Much of the progress of nations depends on the existence of electricity. It is well known today that the world's use of electric energy is so large that it threatens the extinction of the energies used in the generation of electricity. It is also known that electric power is usually generated by non-renewable energies and can be accessed at any time. Therefore, the world tended to create opportunities for non-renewable energies that contribute to generating electricity extensively, eliminating the risk of the demise of this electricity generation.  There is much renewable energy that is currently used in the production of electricity and contributes to its generation. The most well-known of these energies is hydroelectric power, which represents a very large proportion of up to 97% of the electricity generated by renewable energy throughout the world.
The use of hydropower and its dependence has become essential in many countries around the world.
Hydroelectric production has become so huge that it has reached 19% of the total electricity produced in the world and 90% of the total electricity produced by renewable energies. The world has used this kind of energy for its cleanliness and being environmentally friendly.  Also, many countries in the world run rivers and contain many dams that facilitate the production of this type of energy.
 When talking about the countries that use this type of energy to generate electricity, it is possible to summarize all the countries that have river dams. There are also other countries that produce this type of energy through the seas and oceans, especially in areas characterized by strong winds capable of moving seawater and thus obtaining kinetic energy that is easily converted to electrical energy.

The Benefits of Hydroelectric Power

There are many varied benefits of hydroelectric power generation. including:
The production of hydropower is not polluting the environment.
Hydropower is clean energy since hydroelectricity does not produce any residue or even emission of air pollution gases.
It is completely clean energy, plus it is constantly renewable and inaccessible.
It also saves enormous costs on fuel used to generate electricity, and at the same time requires little to maintain.
One of the benefits of seeing this type of energy as wealth came from nothing, as countries are basically building dams to control water when floods occur, but these dams are simply used to produce hydropower.
Hydroelectric power plants are known for their optimal performance among all other types of energy.
Also, the abundance of hydropower production makes more investors at ease from their fear of electricity shortages in other countries.
The abundance of hydropower attracts industry to the country.
They are low in cost compared to other forms of energy..
The possibility of using lakes resulting from exploitation for recreational activities.

Cons of Hydroelectric Power
There is a possibility of damaging some natural habitats of living organisms if dams are built. Some areas near the dam may be submerged and organisms will be abandoned.
Fear of disasters such as floods and destruction of forests if the dam is unable to absorb the large quantities of water in it.
A negative impact on the terrestrial formation system in the geographical areas near the dams of the power plants, resulting in harmful earthquakes.
Require long distribution lines if they are not located near distribution stations.

How is Hydropower Stored for Later Use?

Many of us believe that the electricity produced by hydroelectric power plants is consumed as soon as it is produced. This is a misconception that there is a large surplus of electricity produced that varies depending on the consumption of the country owning the power plant. Therefore, there is a problem facing this country due to the excess electricity consumed, but one solution to such a problem is the use of electrical energy that results in the production of electrical energy later.
In other words, storing that electrical energy in the form of another energy that is easily converted to electricity a second time. By using it to raise water back to a high reservoir of water that has potential energy inside it as the energy put back. This process is based on the consumption of the country, it can be daily if the consumption of the country is small and the surplus is large. It can be monthly or quarterly when the surplus is low, and this process is called the pumping and storage of hydropower.

Conclusion
Hydroelectricity from water is a massive source of electricity for millions of people in the world. In spite of the great opportunities this energy offers, it poses complex challenges that vary among them depending on the type of project, location, and size. Good management of hydropower projects can help to improve the management of water resources locally, thereby enhancing and effectively achieving water security and providing irrigation and flood control services, resulting in mitigation and adaptation.

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