Hydro Electricity Essay

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Hydroelectricity Hydroelectricity is defined as electricity generated by flowing water. This usually takes place at a hydropower plant where flowing water turns turbines that are connected to generators that conduct an electrical current. This current can supply thousands of people with power, depending on the size of the hydropower plant. Worldwide, hydropower plants produce about 24% of our power and supply over a billion people with electricity. According to the National Energy Laboratory, the world’s hydropower plants output a combined total of 675,000 megawatts. In the United States alone, there are more than 2,000 hydropower plants in operation, making hydropower the countries largest renewable resource. The successful operation of a hydropower plant requires a continuous supply of water and some basic components. A hydropower plant is made of several basic components that enable it to produce electricity. The first is the dam, which is a concrete barrier that holds back a mass of water, creating a reservoir. Underneath the dam lies, a gate that lets water flow through the dam into a pipeline called the penstock. The water then turns the turbine, which connects to a shaft that rotates magnets inside of a generator. These magnets pass copper coils called stators and produce alternating current. The current is then sent to a step-up transformer to ramp up the voltage for transmission by way of power lines. The power lines consist of three voltage lines and one ground. This is known as three-phase power transmission. As the process ends, the water reenters the river through pipelines called tailraces. Water flow and hydraulic head are essential factors that help hydropower plants harness their full potential for producing electricity. The amount of electricity generated depends on the volume of the water flow through the penstocks, and the water

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