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Energy Resources Project: Hydroelectricity By Tasia Muse & Jada Mapp AP Environmental Science Mills 2014
What is hydroelectricity? • Hydroelectricity is electricity that is produced by water power
How is hydroelectricity produced? • Hydroelectricity is produced by dams that harness the energy of moving water and turn it into power that can be used by homes and other buildings. This diagram shows the main components of a dam.
Reservoir • The reservoir is the large amount of water stored behind the dam. The amount of water(depth) determines the amount of electricity that can be generated.
Intake • The intake is the entrance of the dam.
Control Gate • The control gate is used for releasing and holding the water from the reservoir into the dam.
Penstock • Water that is released through the control gate flows through the penstock toward the turbine blade.
Turbine • The turbine contains a large number of fan blades and a spindle. The spindle turns as the water flows passed it.
Outflow • The outflow is the water that flows passed the turbine and exits the dam through the other side.
Generator • The generator is connected to the turbine and spins with the turbine. As the generator spins, it converts mechanical energy from the turbine into electric energy.
Powerhouse • The powerhouse is where the generator and turbine are housed and where power is produced.
Transformers • A transformer is a device that carries electricity from one circuit to another and is important in the distribution of electricity.
Power Lines • The power lines take the electricity from the hydropower plant and distributes it to various places such as homes, businesses and schools.
Hydroelectric Dam Explanation Video • http://science.howstuffworks.com/30198-really-big-things-hydroelectric-power-video.htm
Summaries • Scientist: • Although the dams initially will be a pricy item to construct, the overall benefits will outweigh the cons. • The dam will decrease the electricity bills of residents who live near the dam • Also decrease flooding, reducing the amount of costly damage that can be done by flooding. • Historian/Sociologist: • Water has been used for thousands of years by many civilizations to make daily life better. • Many inventors and engineers have made significant strides in the innovation of water power and technologies. • In modern day, hydroelectric power is a renewable source of energy that can reduce pollution and lower electric bills.
Summaries (Cont.) • Economist: • To improve our economy we need to find easy ways to save money. • Even though hydroelectric dams are considered expensive, hydropower is still cheaper than using fossil fuels. • Americans wouldn’t have to pay as many taxes • New jobs, Engineers and constructions workers would be employed.
Summaries (Cont.) • Environmentalist: • Hydroelectricity is an excellent alternative to using fossil fuels. Fossil fuels contribute to global warming by releasing greenhouse gases. • Using hydropower wouldn’t harm the public and wildlife with waste. • The building of a dams does contribute global warming (from excess nutrients), and restrict the movement of marine life. • This could be controlled by building fish ladders and cleaning the built up vegetation from the dam.