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What are hydroelectric turbine diagrams used for?

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Quick Answer

Hydroelectric turbine diagrams are used to explain the progression of water from a reservoir through the turbine to produce electricity. They show the water entering at the intake valve and traveling through the penstock and into the turbine, where electricity is produced and sent to a generator that operates nearby power lines. Finally, they show the water emptying into an outflow river.

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Full Answer

While the hydroelectric turbine produces mechanical energy, an accompanying hydroelectric generator converts said mechanical energy into electricity. These generators include electromagnets on the rotor, which turns at a fixed speed on the end of the turbine shaft. This moves the electromagnets past the conductors that reside in the stator, producing electricity and gathering voltage to be delivered to power lines.

Some hydroelectric turbines are outfitted with pumped storage that helps keep energy levels high when the demand is most needed. Pumped storage allows water to be reserved for peak times by pushing water that has already been through the turbine back into a storage pool during times of low demand. This water is sent back through the generators during peak times. The generators have the ability to start quickly while making necessary output adjustments. This method is not only efficient, but also affordable, as pumped storage reservoirs tend to be small and command low construction costs.

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