Principle and benefits of hydropower
Hydropower prior to the widespread availability of commercial electricity, hydropower was widely used for milling, textile manufacture, and the operation of sawmills. In the 1830s, at the height of the canal-building era, hydropower was used to transport barge traffic up and down steep hills using the technology of inclined plane railroads. There are many forms of water power:
- Hydroelectric energy, a term usually reserved for hydroelectric dams.
- Tidal power, which captures energy from the tides in the horizontal direction.Tidal stream power, which does the same vertically.
- Wave power, which uses the energy in waves
- Ocean thermal energy conversion, which uses the temperature difference between the warmer surface of the ocean and the cool (or cold) lower recesses. Deep lake water cooling, not technically an energy generation method. It uses submerged pipes to cool things.
Hydroelectric power Hydropower aside from dams, the term also refers to a number of systems in which flowing water drives a water turbine or water wheel. Hydropower from the potential energy of the elevation of waters now supplies about 715,000 MWe or 19% of world electricity, and large dams are still being designed. Apart from a few countries with an abundance of it, hydro power is normally applied to peak-load demand, because it is so readily stopped and started. Nevertheless, hydroelectric power is probably not a major option for the future of energy production in the developed nations because most major sites within these nations with the potential for harnessing gravity in this way are either already being exploited or are unavailable for other reasons such as environmental considerations.Hydroelectric energy produces essentially no carbon dioxide, in contrast to burning fossil fuels or gas, and it is not a significant contributor to global warming through CO2.Recent reports have linked hydroelectric power to methane, which forms out of decaying submerged plants which grow in the dried up parts of the basis in times of drought.Methane is a greenhouse gas.Hydroelectric power can be far less expensive than electricity generated from fossil fuel or nuclear energy. Areas with abundant hydroelectric power attract industry with low-cost electricity. Recently, increased environmental concerns surrounding hydroelectric power, have begun to outweigh cheap electricity in some countries.The chief advantage of hydroelectric dams is their ability to handle seasonal (as well as daily) high peak loads. When the electricity demands drop, the dam simply stores more water. Some electricity generators use water dams to store excess energy (often during the night), by using the electricity to pump water up into a basin. The electricity can be re-generated when demand increases. In practice, the utilization of stored water in river dams is sometimes complicated by demands for irrigation which may occur out of phase with peak electrical demands.
Tidal power Also a kind of hydropower harnessing the tides in a bay or estuary has been achieved in France (since 1966), Canada and Russia, and could be achieved in certain other areas where there is a large tidal range. The trapped water can be used to turn turbines as it is released through the tidal barrage in either direction. Worldwide this technology appears to have little potential, largely due to environmental constraints. Another possible fault is that the system would generate electricity most efficiently if it were to generate electricity in bursts, every six hours (once every tide). Obviously, this limits the applications for which tidal energy can be used.Tidal stream powered relatively new technology development, tidal stream generators draw energy from underwater currents in much the same way that wind generators are powered by the wind. The much higher density of water means that there is the potential for a single generator to provide significant levels of power. Tidal stream technology is at the very early stages of development though and will require significantly more research before it becomes a significant contributor to electrical generation needs.
Wave power another kind of hydropower which harnessing power from ocean surface wave motion is a possibility which might yield much more energy than tides. The feasibility of this has been investigated, particularly in the UK. Generators either coupled to floating devices or turned by air displaced by waves in a hollow concrete structure would produce electricity for delivery to shore. Numerous practical problems have frustrated progress.A prototype shore based wave power generator is being constructed at Port Kembla in Australia and is expected to generate up to 500 MWh per annum. The Wave Energy Converter has been constructed (as of July 2005) and initial test results have exceeded expectations in terms of energy production during times of low wave energy. The energy of waves crashing against the shore is absorbed by an air driven generator and converted to electricity. For countries with large coastlines and rough sea conditions, the energy density of breaking waves offers the possibility of generating electricity in utility volumes. Excess power in periods of the rough sea could be used to generate renewable hydrogen.
Ocean thermal energy conversion ocean thermal energy conversion is a relatively unproven technology, This kind of hydropower though it was first used by the French engineer Jacques Arsene d’ Arsonval in 1881. The difference in temperature between water near the surface and deeper water can be as much as 20 °C. The warm water is used to make a liquid such as ammonia evaporate, causing it to expand. The expanding gas forces its way through turbines, after which it is condensed using the colder water and the cycle can begin again. Read the Millennial Project for more information.Deep lake water cooling deep lake water cooling is the use of cold water piped from a lake bottom and used for cooling. Energy measures work or heat exchange; although this technology doesn’t generate energy that can do work, water-cooling is a form of heat exchange. That is, this technology is an efficient, renewable substitute for expensive air conditioning which requires expensive, peak demand electrical generation which, typically uses Fossil fuels. Like geothermal energy and unlike many other forms of renewable energy, water-cooling taps a reliable supply because lake-bottom water is a year-round constant 4 °C
Renewable energy You can learn more about the different types of renewable energy and clean technologies available to you by consulting our guides. Our goal is to help you become more energy efficient and save you money by reducing your electricity bills. It is now time to become carbon neutral. Switch Your Energy Source to Renewables Now! Renewable energy (sources) or RES capture their energy from existing flows of energy, from on-going natural processes, such as sunshine, wind, flowing By using an alternative source of energy and being more energy efficient you can reduce dramatically the amount of CO2 you release into the atmosphere and therefore actively participate in helping to prevent climate change and global warming. Finally, the use of clean and renewable energy will help you to reduce your electricity or gas bills and become more energy independent in the event of fuel shortages and increasing oil prices.
Most renewable forms of energy, other than geothermal and tidal power, ultimately come from the Sun. Some forms are stored solar energy such as rainfall and wind power which is considered short-term solar-energy storage, whereas the energy in biomass is accumulated over a period of months, as in straw, or through many years as in wood. Capturing renewable energy by plants, animals, and humans do not permanently deplete the resource.Fossil fuels, while theoretically renewable on a very long time-scale, are exploited at rates that may deplete these resources in the near future. Renewable energy resources may be used directly or used to create other more convenience forms of energy.Examples of direct use are solar ovens, geothermal heating, and water- and windmills. Examples of indirect use which require energy harvesting are electricity generation through wind turbines or photovoltaic cells, or production of fuels such as ethanol from biomass. A parameter sometimes used in renewable energy is the tonne of oil equivalent (toe). This is equal to 10,000 mega cal or 41,868 MJ of energy.The most common definition is that renewable energy is an energy resource that is replaced rapidly by a natural process such as power generated from the sun or from the wind. A common misconception among the public is that Hydrogen and Fuell cell technology is also a renewable energy and elemental hydrogen is a source of energy and that there are “mines” or “reservoirs” of hydrogen to find. This is simply not true, hydrogen is not a primary source of energy: it is only an energy storage medium, and must be manufactured using energy from other sources. You can learn more about the different types of renewable energy and clean technologies available to you by consulting our guides. Our goal is to help you become more energy efficient and save you money by reducing your electricity bills. IIt is now time to become carbon neutral. Switch Your Energy Source to Renewables Now!Follow Us