The hydroelectric potential of watercourses has been an important source of renewable energy for centuries. In the late 19th century, hydropower became one of the basic sources for the production of electricity. The first hydroelectric power plant was built on Niagara Falls in 1879. In 1881, the street lights of the city of Niagara Falls were powered by hydropower. In 1882, the world’s first hydroelectric power plant began operating in Appleton, USA. There are several methods for producing electricity from hydroelectric power.
The biggest part of hydroelectric power comes from potential energy made from water stopped by dams, and that water drives the turbine and the generator. The energy drawn from this water depends on the amount of water and the height difference between the source and the end run of water. The amount of potential energy in water is proportional to this altitude difference.
Pump Hydro Power Plants
This method generates electricity for the highest daily demand by moving water between reservoirs at different heights. In times of low demand for electricity, excess production capacity is used to pump water from the lower to the higher reservoir. When demand is higher, water is released into a lower tank through turbines. Pump hydroelectric power plants represent a commercially important means of mass storage of energy and improvement of the daily capacity of the production system.
Fluid hydroelectric power plants
They have low tank capacities or do not have a tank at all, so that tap water must be used for production at that moment, or must be released through a dam. This is an ideal method for streams or rivers with a minimum reduction in flow in dry periods or for those that are regulated by a much larger dam and a reservoir upstream.
Tide power plants use tidal energy. A low dam is built over the entrance, and it has one-way doors that allow the incoming tide to pass through the entrance. When the tide is withdrawn, the water expands through the entrance through large turbines made in the barrier, generating electricity. The problem is not so much in using this energy as it is in its transmission. The production of electricity in the middle of the ocean makes no sense – there is no one to use. We can only use energy near the coast, where people need it. Tidal energy is the ocean energy source that promises the most today and in the near future.
In many parts of the world, the wind blows sufficiently continuously and with sufficient power to produce continuous waves. There are several ways to use the wave energy. Wave movement can be used to blow air through the tube. The air turns the turbine into the tube, generating electricity. Another way is to turn the waves into narrow channels, increasing their strength and size. Waves can then be channeled into pools, like tidal power plants, or directly used to start turbines.