Hydroelectric power
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Hydroelectric Power. By: Gavin and Alex. How does a hydroelectric dam work?. As water passes through a dam, energy is produced Therefore, you need a moving body of water to produce energy The moving water spins a turbine, transferring the energy from the water into the turbine

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Hydroelectric Power

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Hydroelectric power

Hydroelectric Power

By: Gavin and Alex


How does a hydroelectric dam work

How does a hydroelectric dam work?

  • As water passes through a dam, energy is produced

    • Therefore, you need a moving body of water to produce energy

  • The moving water spins a turbine, transferring the energy from the water into the turbine

  • The turbine propels a generator, which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy

  • The power produced is determined by the power of the water current and the difference in height between the source and the outflow (The difference is called “head”)

  • Potential energy is determined by the head

  • A “penstock” is a large pipe that delivers the water to the turbine


What are pros of hydroelectric power

What are pros of hydroelectric power?

  • The potential energy in water is a fuel source

  • Obtaining the water itself is of lower cost (the only expenses come with the dam and plant themselves)

  • It uses only existing technology- nothing new has to be invented, only improved

  • Can be used to store energy from other sources (pumped storage)

  • It’s just friggin’ amazing

  • Lake and irrigation source raise land values, helping local economy

  • Produces little CO2 emissions

  • Can conceal nuclear bunkers very effectively

  • Is renewable as long as rain falls in normal amounts (for the area) and maintains local water levels


What are the cons of hydroelectric power

What are the cons of hydroelectric power?

  • High cost upfront- the costs of building a dam, the plant, and possibly re-routing water

  • Disrupts river fish migration and the habitats of other aquatic animals

  • Is often better used as irrigation or drinking water than energy

  • Is a major safety risk if in disrepair (high consequence, low probability)

  • Reservoir destroys anything that used to be there

    • Releases methane

  • They aren’t aesthetically pleasing, possibly causing a disturbance to locals


How is hydropower being developed

How is hydropower being developed?

  • Turbine technology is being advanced ex. the Alden Turbine which is designed to reduce fish mortality by allowing for their passage downstream (This allows for hydropower to be utilized in areas that are otherwise not for fishy reasons)

  • New materials are being developed and tested in order to improve performance, lower costs and increase durability

  • Attempts are being made to reduce maintenance costs, increase power capacity, reduce risk to wildlife and humans alike, and use the available water in an efficient manner

  • The DOE (Department of Energy) has created “sensor fish”, which test the stress that real fish undergo when they pass through the turbines


What are safety issues with dams

What are safety issues with dams?

  • More power is of higher consequence if an accident occurs

  • It can be hard to survey the water-side of a dam

  • It is costly to repair a dam, despite attempts at better durability

  • High-consequence military target in the event of an attack

    • causes flash flood

    • one structure powers and waters the region

    • may be a bridge

  • Repairs or additions may weaken the dam until finished, reducing potentially a necessary power and water source

  • People making decisions are no longer experts


How should we utilize this source

How should we utilize this source?

  • New applications should be developed

  • Continue relying on old infrastructure, but constantly improve and update

  • Build new infrastructure if necessary

    • flood control

    • water supply

  • Pumped storage to accompany plants with minimum output

  • This one is pretty straight forward guys. Really, what else do you want us to say? Do it or die? I’m not that aggressive ok?


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