Learn About Hydroelectric Power

alternative power sourceHydroelectric power is a great potential source of renewable energy. Currently a lot of power is produced from fossil fuels, which burn and release emissions into the air, adding to pollution and creating a host of other issues in its wake. On the other hand, plant construction may disrupt local wildlife. There are many benefits and some drawbacks as well. Here are some pros and cons to this renewable resource.


- Hydroelectric plants do not contribute to global warming or other negatives such as acid rain due to the fact that sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide are not emitted, and do not pollute the water or land like other types of power production
- Hydroelectric power plants are reliable with low operating costs and rates of failure
- Plants can be added to dam sites and create power from them
- With power able to be drawn from the water, the potential sources and sites for hydroelectric power production are vast
- There are no chances that hydropower will run out; unlike fossil fuels, they will continue to be a renewable source of energy
- The more we use hydroelectric power, the more vital fuels will be reserved and saved for future use instead of used until they are gone
- 96% of the renewable energy used in the United States comes from hydroelectric power
- It is a cheap way to create energy
- Does not take resources to create electricity since it uses water as fuels
- Hydroelectric provides constant power because moving water is a constant flow in waterways
- Plants can add recreational opportunities to communities by having a calmer body of water for activities such as fishing and swimming
- Low maintenance: hydroelectric power plants do not require many replacements for operation due to its simple parts
- Can work to power a house or a farm or as a larger operation
- Dams for hydroelectric can serve many purposes such as farming irrigation, quality control of water, and prevent flooding
- Turbines can be started or stopped quickly and meet peak demands for power with a short start up time
- With demand matching, plants can match energy demands by using stored water to be released and used during high demand times


- Possible expensive initial construction costs
- Dams used to power hydroelectricity may change or disturb environments
- May restrict aquatic movement by preventing fish from moving up or down stream (but can be changed by adding fish ladders or open areas in the dam)
- Droughts and low water levels with no reservoirs may impact the ability to generate electricity
- Relocation of humans and animals due to reservoir construction may be a possibility
- Longer pay back period while waiting for finished construction
- Economic costs for protecting the environment may be part of the overall hydroelectric plant’s price tag

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hydroelectric Power Plants


Affordable: Currently hydroelectric plants can produce electricity for a low cost of point 0035 dollars per kWh. On the other hand, for a new construction the cost would be between 0.0015 dollars per kWh and up to 8 cents per kWh.

Environmentally friendly: Since a hydroelectric power plan uses water as its primary fuel, the air and water won’t be polluted.

Constant Power: Electricity is generated by moving water, so hydroelectric power can be produced 24/7.

Demand Matching: Electricity demands can be better matched by pumping water into special reservoirs when the demand for electricity is low and then release that water when the demand increases.

Recreation: Since they can provide a calmer body of water, impoundment plants can create amazing recreational opportunities for area communities. To include some examples of such activities, they include swimming, boating and even fishing.

Local: There are plenty of locations worldwide that can easily access large water supplies for producing hydroelectric power.

Affordable ongoing costs: The operational costs of a hydroelectric plant are very low and they only need a couple of replacements during their life cycle. The reason maintenance costs are so low is because they have few parts and they’re generally very durable.

Modular: A hydroelectric plant can be easily customized so that it serves the needs of a house, an entire building or even an entire block.


Droughts: Hydroelectric power plants will produce less electricity during times of drought.

Aquatic Movement: An impoundment plant can stop fish from moving downstream by the turbines and upstream by the dam. To make sure that this won’t happen, creating an open area in the dam and using fish ladders is mandatory.

High construction costs: Building the dam is the most expensive part of constructing an impoundment plant and due to its nature, it’s going to pay back the costs in a much longer period of time. Solar power in long island is also an efficient energy source. You can even install solar panels long island as well to capture even more free energy.

Relocation: When a dam is built, animals, trees and even humans that live near the construction area will need to be relocated.

Hydroelectric Power

How is hydroelectric power produced? It is produced using the same principle as a coal fired plant .In both situations, power sources propel a turbine that turn a shaft which acts as a motor to generate electricity. This production is facilitated by building a dam on a high point. Gravity forces water to fall through the penstock to the turbine located at the end of the penstock. The turbine has a metal shaft which is connected to the generator where electricity is produced when it rotates. The water continues to flow past the turbine into the river past the dam. It is risky for you to be swim or play just below a dam.

hydro power waterAccording to the corps of engineers hydroelectric power is produced by a turbine which converts flowing water energy into mechanical energy. The mechanical energy is later converted into electricity by a generator whose working is based on the Faraday principles. Faraday discovered that when a magnet is passed across a conductor, a significant amount of electricity is produced. Large generators’ electromagnets are made by rotating unidirectional current through coils of wires wound around a magnet. The electromagnet is connected to the rotor, which turns causing the electromagnet to rotate across the conductor causing electricity to flow and hence EMF is developed at the terminals.

The demand of electricity varies with time. This means there are peak and off-peak hours. For instance in Atlanta, Georgia much electricity is needed on a hot day to power air conditioners compared to the morning hours when it is cool. The ability of hydroelectric electricity to contain this varying demand makes it more efficient in providing peak power demands during short periods of time than either fossil fuel or nuclear energy. This is made possible by the pumped storage in the Reservoirs. The reservoir stores water when demands are low and releasing it during peak periods of the season. Reservoirs are efficient when used for a short .period of time since they are relatively small. Residential solar panels long island ny is also an excellent way to produce clean power. Reservoirs are advantageous since they are cheap to construct and are able to make rapid instant adjustments in the units generated.