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Alternative Energy: Hydroelectric Power. By Naina Gimadeyeva and Kalil Johnson. Electricity is generated by hydropower Hydropower is the gravitational force of falling water The force of water drives the water turbine and generator to create electricity. General Description.

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alternative energy hydroelectric power

Alternative Energy: Hydroelectric Power

By Naina Gimadeyeva and Kalil Johnson

general description
Electricity is generated by hydropower

Hydropower is the gravitational force of falling water

The force of water drives the water turbine and generator to create electricity

General Description
hydroelectric power how it works
Hydroelectric Power: How it Works
  • Dam are built barrier constructed to control the flow of water
  • Water flows into tunnels in the dam
  • Gravity causes the water to flow down
  • Which turns the turbines that drives the generators
  • Electricity is made by the spinning turbines
    • How it works video
  • Water provided is free
  • No greenhouse gas emissions, minimal pollution
  • Low maintenance costs and operations
  • More reliable than solar, wind, or wave power
  • Fuel is renewable
  • Increases to full power very quickly
  • Reservoirs offer a variety of recreational opportunities
disadvantages of hydropower
Disadvantages of Hydropower
  • Expensive to construct
  • Flooding can disrupt the plant and animal life
    • Effects fish population-reducing access to spawning grounds
  • Dams causes soil erosion
  • Hydrology is dependent on precipitation- can be effected by drought
  • Water quality- low dissolved oxygen levels
  • Power plants in tropical regions produce a high amount of methane and carbon dioxide due to decaying plant material
extra information

Swift flowing rivers or streams

Mountainous regions

Heavy rainfall

Limited locations due to

Space requirements

Areas needed with heavy rainfall

Need to displace the people

Building costs

Least common compared to others

Supplies 9% of the United States’ electricity

Accounts for 49% of all renewable energy used by the U.S.

Extra Information
hydroelectric power dams
Hydroelectric Power: Dams

Two types of dams:

  • Gravity dam- supported by a bedrock base
  • Arch dam- form a convex arch, supported by lateral walls
    • Used in narrow canyons with steep sidewalls

Risk Factors to the design of a hydroelectric dam:

  • Resistance of dams to earthquakes
  • Permanent inspection
  • Ecological impact – under-oxygenated waters
  • Human impact – relocation of people

Conditions for building a dam

    • Topographical location – detailed features
    • Geographical location – natural features, populations, industries and etc.
    • Hydrological conditions - the science dealing with occurrence, circulation, distribution, and properties of water
hydroelectric energy dams contd
Hydroelectric Energy: Dams Contd.

Hoover Dam (Boulder Dam): built in the 1930s in the Black Canyons of the Colorado River

  • Construction deaths of 112 workers were due to
    • Rock slide
    • Explosion
    • Drowning
    • Health Prostration
  • Construction of the dam:
    • Groundwork- construction of cofferdams were constructed to prevent flooding
    • River diversion- built diver tunnels through canyon walls to reroute water in construction site
    • Rock clearance- men suspended removed rock with dynamite and jackhammers
    • Concrete- built in trapezoid columns to reduce stress and built cooling coils to cool the concrete
    • Construction cost approximately $49 million ($736 million adjusted for 1936 to 2008)
    • Hoover dam (google map)
  • *