The hydroelectric or hydraulic energy is that which originates from the use of the water fall from a certain height. The water that falls is driven by turbines creating a rotating movement, which converts it into mechanical energy, then all that energy passes through generators that transform it into electrical energy.
This kind of energy is produced by water stored in high-altitude reservoirs, also called dams. The barriers contain water that then falls to a lower level, generating kinetic energy that is then converted into electrical energy. This form of energy is renewable, i.e., inexhaustible.
To transform water into hydroelectric power, it is necessary to use hydroelectric power plants. These plants located in areas where an appropriate mixture of rainfall and geographical differences predominate, use the gravitational energy contained in the large masses of water, which, when passing through a hydraulic turbine, transfers the energy to an electric generator that later converts it into electricity.
Hydropower has been used for centuries. Even from ancient Greece, farmers used water mills to grind wheat. These mills over time provided support for the construction of hydroelectric plants.
Among the advantages offered by this type of energy are, it is an energy that produces a high energy yield. Its availability is inexhaustible. It is an energy that does not generate toxic emissions during its commissioning. On the other hand, the dams or built reservoirs serve in turn of storage of water for the execution of activities of recreation and the provision of systems of irrigation.
Economically, hydroelectricity offers a significant advantage regarding the elimination of fuels, since it is more expensive to use hydraulic plants based on fuels (oil, natural gas or coal), taking into account that the prices of same ones tend to suffer increases that could affect the costs.
As for its disadvantages are: the construction of hydroelectric plants requires the installation of the major electric lines, so it is costly. The dams tend to generate losses of productive soil and wild fauna, a product of the flood of the designated ground for this. In the areas where the reservoirs are built, floods in the surrounding villages are very likely to occur. It destroys the environment, especially to aquatic ecosystems.
How does a hydroelectric plant work?
If you watch the flow of a river flow, even if you do it carefully, it will be complicated for you to imagine the force it carries. However, if you have rafting, you might have felt a small part of its power. The water rapids are created by the river, which carries large amounts of water down the mountain, although floods are another clear example of the force that can transmit this element.
Hydroelectric power and environment
Hydropower is not polluting but has environmental impacts. Hydraulic power does not pollute water or air. However, facilities can have major environmental impacts because of changes in land and environment, damaging the natural habitat of space.
Most hydroelectric plants have a dam and a reservoir. These structures can obstruct the migration of fish and affect populations. Similarly, carrying out such facilities can influence the change in water temperature and river flow. These changes can damage the plants of the area and even the animals that live in its waters or on land.