Hydropower uses a fuel—water—that is not reduced or used up in the process. Because the water cycle is an endless, constantly recharging system, hydropower is considered a renewable energy. When flowing water is captured and turned into electricity, it is called hydroelectric power or hydropower.
How Hydropower Works. Hydropower plants capture the energy of falling water to generate electricity. A turbine converts the kinetic energy of falling water into mechanical energy. Then a generator converts the mechanical energy from the turbine into electrical energy.
The hydropower resource. On Earth, water is constantly moved around in various states, a process known as the hydrologic cycle. Water evaporates from the oceans, forming into clouds, falling out as rain and snow, gathering into streams and rivers, and flowing back to the sea.
Hydroelectricity is electricity produced from hydropower.In 2015, hydropower generated 16.6% of the world's total electricity and 70% of all renewable electricity, and was expected to increase about 3.1% each year for the next 25 years.. Hydropower is produced in 150 countries, with the Asia-Pacific region generating 33 percent of global hydropower in 2013.
There are more than 2,000 hydropower plants operating in the United States, making hydropower the country's largest renewable energy source. In this article, we'll take a look at how falling water creates energy and learn about the hydrologic cycle that creates the water flow essential for hydropower.
How hydropower works. A typical hydroelectric plant is a system with three parts: a power plant where the electricity is produced, a dam that can be opened or closed to control water flow, and a ...
Use of hydropower peaked in the mid-20th century, but the idea of using water for power generation goes back thousands of years. A hydropower plant is basically an oversized water wheel.More than 2,000 years ago, the Greeks are said to have used a water wheel for grinding wheat into flour.
As to how this generator works, the Corps of Engineers explains it this way: "A hydraulic turbine converts the energy of flowing water into mechanical energy. A hydroelectric generator converts this mechanical energy into electricity. The operation of a generator is based on the principles discovered by Faraday.
Hydro Power. Definition. Hydropower or hydroelectricity refers to the conversion of energy from flowing water into electricity. It is considered a renewable energy source because the water cycle is constantly renewed by the sun. Historically, one of the first uses of hydro power was for mechanical milling, such as grinding grains.
Hydropower or hydroelectricity refers to the conversion of energy from flowing water into electricity. Learn more about hydropower and all types of energy at www.studentenergy.org.