Hydroelectricity

Just Let It Flow!

Hydropower

Hydropower is electricity produced from machines that are run by moving water. Hydropower started with farmers placing water wheels in streams to collect flowing water. The kinetic energy of water turns the wheel and is converted to energy that runs the mill. The 1st hydroelectric power plant was built at Niagara Falls in 1879.

Every state in America uses hydropower. America's hydropower industry has more than 100 gigawatts of hydropower capacity. States that use hydropower have lower energy bills than other countries. It is the cheapest way to generate electricity because once you start using it, the use becomes free. Hydropower provides almost one-fifth of the worlds electricity. this renewable resource is one of the oldest renewable resources.

The plant has 3 parts:


  1. The electric part where all the electricity is produced.
  2. A dam that can be opened or closed to control the water flow.
  3. A reservoir where the water can be stored.
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Advantages

  • Once built electricity can be produced at a constant rate.
  • The gates can easily be shut, saving water for a later time.
  • The dams can last many decades.
  • The lake behind the dam can be used as a tourist attraction.
  • The use of dams does not pollute the atmosphere.

Disadvantages

  • Are very expensive.
  • Must be built to a very high standard.
  • the dam has the risk of flooding.
  • Alters the natural water table level.
  • Hurts fish populations.

Micro Hydro Generator

Do you have enough space for a giant hydroelectric energy source? Of course not! Well, you should try a small-scale hydroelectric generator! It is a smaller version of the generator used for a dam. First, you have to put in a turbine to get water flow so that the generator will work. You can use it for a tank, small river, lake, or even your pool. It is at a smaller cost. Depending on your electricity uses, it costs anywhere from $1,000-$20,000. This does seem like a lot of money, but it will save you tons. It provides any electrical services you need, so money will come back to you. Now that it is a smaller version, it can be used in more places!