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Hydroelectric power is energy that comes from flowing water. Hydroelectric power is the result of two natural principles: gravity, and the hydrologic cycle, which essentially relies on solar energy.
The principle of gravity is simple: water falls.
The hydrologic cycle is the cycle that all water (each drop) goes through. Water in any body of water evaporates at any temperature above freezing. The higher the temperature, the higher is the rate of evaporation. When evaporating water reaches the cool air of the high atmosphere, it condenses into rain and falls on the land. Water collects into streams, rivers, ponds, seas, etc. Drops of water re-evaporate at each stage. The entire earth is a closed system that never loses or gains any of its total water.
In hydropower, machinery is powered by the movement of water. Since the hydrologic cycle never ends, hydroelectricity is an excellent from of renewable energy. Water is used to turn turbines that generate electricity.
Types of hydropower plants:
Impoundment uses water that is stored ("impounded") in a manmade dam. In the United States, there are nearly 2,500 such hydroelectric power plants. Water is released from the reservoir and flows into a turbine, causing it to spin and activate a generator that produces electricity. The water flow is controlled in these systems, and it may be released to meet changing electricity needs or to stabilize the water level in the reservoir.
Diversion, or run-...
Sizes of Hydroelectric Power Plants
Some of the following information comes from the US Department of Energy's web site.
Hydroelectric facilities range in size from large power plants that supply many consumers with electricity to small and micro hydro plants that individuals operate for their own energy needs or to sell power to utilities.
Although definitions vary, DOE defines large hydropower as facilities that have a capacity of more than 30 megawatts.
Although definitions vary, DOE defines small hydropower as facilities that have a capacity of 100 kilowatts to 30 megawatts. Hydroelectric plants of this size are found in villages around the world and can contribute significantly to local economies.
A micro hydropower plant has a capacity of up to 100 kilowatts. A small or micro-hydroelectric power system can produce enough electricity for a home, farm, ranch, or village. Of all the forms of renewable energy that consumers can use independently, micro hydro is the most economical. All you need is running water on your property and permission for authorities....