Flowing water is also an important renewable source of energy. The kinetic energy of flowing water has also been used for centuries by human beings for various works. For example, the energy of flowing water has been used for centuries by human beings to transport logs of wood in hilly areas. These days, the kinetic energy of flowing water is used to generate electricity. The electricity produced by flowing water is called hydroelectricity, and the stations where the energy of water is converted into electricity are called hydroelectric power plant. The hydroelectric power stations are generally built at natural waterfalls or by constructing a dam across a river.
How hydroelectric power plant works?
The basic principle of generation of electricity at hydroelectric power plant is very simple. First of all, dams are constructed across rivers to collect the water flowing in them. In this way, a large amount of potential energy gets stored in the water. Now, a turbine attached with armature of an electric generator, is placed at the bottom of the dam. Then the water stored in the dam is made to fall through pipes on the blades of turbine. During this, the potential energy of stored water gets converted into kinetic energy. This kinetic energy of falling water exerts a great amount of force on the blades of turbines due to which the turbine starts rotating. This rotating turbine rotates the armature of generator and produced electricity. The schematic representation of principle of working of a hydroelectric power station is shown in figure.
Production Of Electricity At Hydroelectric Power Station
Advantages of Generating Hydroelectricity
Following are the main advantages of generating hydroelectricity:
- It is a renewable source of energy.
- It does not produce any type of environmental pollution.
- Construction of dams provides water for irrigation and prevents seasonal floods.
- The running cost of a hydroelectric power station is very low.
Disadvantages of Generating Hydroelectricity
The various disadvantages associated with generating hydroelectricity are as follows:
- The cost of construction of a hydroelectric power station is very high.
- Also construction of dams on rivers may cause submerging of large areas of land, due to which the ecological balance may get upset.
Test Your Understanding and Answer These Questions:
- What is hydroelectricity?
- How hydroelectric power plant works?
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