HYDRO POWER: THE POWER OF WATER

By: Shelton Lewis

What is Hydro Power????

Hydroelectric Power -- what is it?

It=s a form of energy … a renewable resource. Hydropower provides about 96 percent of the renewable energy in the United States. Other renewable resources include geothermal, wave power, tidal power, wind power, and solar power. Hydroelectric powerplants do not use up resources to create electricity nor do they pollute the air, land, or water, as other powerplants may. Hydroelectric power has played an important part in the development of this Nation's electric power industry. Both small and large hydroelectric power developments were instrumental in the early expansion of the electric power industry.

Hydroelectric power comes from flowing water … winter and spring runoff from mountain streams and clear lakes. Water, when it is falling by the force of gravity, can be used to turn turbines and generators that produce electricity. hydro electric power can be found anywher there is water.

How does Hydro power produce energy....?

The theory is to build a dam on a large river that has a large drop in elevation (there are not many hydroelectric plants in Kansas or Florida). The dam stores lots of water behind it in the reservoir. Near the bottom of the dam wall there is the water intake. Gravity causes it to fall through the penstock inside the dam. At the end of the penstock there is a turbine propeller, which is turned by the moving water. The shaft from the turbine goes up into the generator, which produces the power. Power lines are connected to the generator that carry electricity to your home and mine. The water continues past the propeller through the tailrace into the river past the dam. By the way, it is not a good idea to be playing in the water right below a dam when water is released!
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PICTURES OF HYDRO POWER DAM AND A TURBINE!!!

Hydro Power and the Environment

Environmental Impact

Although hydropower has no air quality impacts, construction and operation of hydropower dams can significantly affect natural river systems as well as fish and wildlife populations. Hydropower often requires the use of dams, which can greatly affect the flow of rivers, altering ecosystems and affecting the wildlife and people who depend on those waters.
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Advantages and uses of Hydro Power

Advantages to hydroelectric power:

  • Fuel is not burned so there is minimal pollution
  • Water to run the power plant is provided free by nature
  • Hydropower plays a major role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Relatively low operations and maintenance costs
  • The technology is reliable and proven over time
  • It's renewable - rainfall renews the water in the reservoir, so the fuel is almost always there



Cost Benifit to Using This Energy

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Uses of Hydro Power and Products From It

The main use of Hydro Power is to make and produce electricity. This electricity could be used to power cities, buildings, states, or even countries. Hydropower is produced in 150 countries, with the Asia-Pacific region generating 32 percent of global hydropower in 2010. China is the largest hydroelectricity producer, with 721 terawatt-hours of production in 2010, representing around 17 percent of domestic electricity use.
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