How Hydro Power Plants Work?

Hydroelectric power plant is one type of power plant that utilizes the potential energy of water to produce electrical energy. In general, the workings of a Hydro Power Plant are basically utilizing the potential energy and kinetic energy of water which will eventually become electrical energy.

So it is not wrong if the use of water energy to become electricity is a form of renewable energy utilization. The easy thing to distinguish is that the use of water energy does not cause pollution. Where, in the use of this water, it does not change the shape, taste, or smell of the water.

Hydropower plants are generally located in hilly areas where dams can be built easily so that they will produce large water reservoirs. In hydroelectric power plants, water heads or river sources are created by building a dam in a river or lake area, from which the water will flow to a water turbine.

Hydroelectric power plants are very popular and are used in almost all countries in the world, including Indonesia. This is because other types of power plants that use fuel reserves such as oil and coal are running low every day. Besides, hydropower is also used for irrigation canals and flood control.

In this material, we will get to know more about how hydroelectric power works. Well, how are you?

How Hydro Power Plants Work

To know the workings of a hydroelectric power plant, of course there are 4 important components that must be known, starting from the heavy flow of water, turbines, generators and the electricity network.

The theory of how hydropower works is by building a dam on a large river that has a large drop in height, with the presence of a dam it can accommodate a lot of water behind the reservoir.

Near the bottom of the dam wall there is a water intake or inlet, where by gravity the water will fall through a rapid pipe in the dam. At the end of the rapid pipe there is a turbine blade, which will rotate by moving water flowing, where the turbine shaft is connected to a generator, so that it will produce rotation (energy).

When the generator rotates it will produce electrical energy, which is a power line connected to the generator that will bring electricity to homes and industries. The water will flow through the blades to the river through the dam.

Basically the way hydropower works is very simple. Where, the water turbine converts the kinetic energy of the falling water into mechanical energy in the turbine shaft, we can simply say that the falling water will rotate the water turbine. The turbine will drive the alternator attached to the turbine and then convert the mechanical energy produced into electrical energy, this is the “basic principle of how hydroelectric power works”.

How Turbines and Generators Work to Generate Electricity

The hydraulic turbine will convert the energy of flowing water into mechanical energy, where the turbine connected to the generator will be driven so that the hydroelectric generator converts this mechanical energy into electricity.

The operation of the generator is based on the principles discovered by Faraday. Where, Faraday discovered that when a magnet is moved through a conductor, electricity will flow.

In large generators, an electromagnet is created by passing direct current through a loop of wire coil around a pile of magnetic steel laminates called field poles, and mounted on the perimeter of the rotor, the rotor attached to the turbine shaft will start rotating at a constant speed.

When the rotor rotates, it causes the field poles (electromagnets) to move through the conductors installed in the stator. Until finally there will be an electric current and voltage at the generator output terminal.