Efficient Green Power - Hydroelectric dam energy generation

Hydroelectric Energy Generation

Small scale hydro or micro-hydro power has been an increasingly popular alternative energy source, especially in remote areas where other power sources are not viable. Small scale hydro power systems can be installed in small rivers or streams with little or no discernible environmental effect or disruption to fish migration. Most small scale hydro power systems make no use of a dam or major water diversion, but rather use water wheels to generate energy.

Although large hydroelectric plants generate most of the world of hydropower, some situations require small hydropower. These are defined as plants producing up to 10 megawatts, or projects of 30 megawatts in North America. A small hydro plant may be connected to a network or may only provide energy to an isolated community or a single house. Small hydro projects generally do not require the long economic, engineering and environmental studies associated with large projects and often can be completed much more quickly. A small hydropower development may be installed with a project against flooding, irrigation or other purposes, providing additional income for the costs of the project. In areas that formerly used for milling waterwheels and other purposes, often the site can be redeveloped for the production of electricity, possibly eliminating the environmental impact of any demolition. Small hydropower can be further divided into mini-hydropower units of about 1 MW in size, and micro hydro units with greater than 100 kW to a couple of kW rating. Small hydro schemes are particularly popular in China, which has more than 50% of the capacity of small hydropower.

Units of small hydropower in the range of 1 MW to 30 MW are often available from several manufacturers using standard "over the water" package, one contractor can provide all major mechanical and electrical equipment (turbine, generator , Checks, equipment), selection from several standard models to meet the conditions of the site. Micro hydro projects using a variety of equipment, the small size of industrial centrifugal pumps can be used as turbines, with relatively low purchase price compared to the goal of building turbines.


Some considerations for a micro-hydro system installation include the amount of water flow available on a consistent basis, since the lack of rain or snow pack can affect plant operation. The larger the amount of drop between the intake and the exit, called head, can increase the power output. Over the last few years, the U.S. Government has increased support for alternative power generation. Many resources such as grants, loans, and tax benefits are available for small scale hydro systems. In poor areas, many remote communities have no electricity. Micro hydro power, with a capacity of 100 kW or less, allows communities to generate electricity.

Micro-hydro power can be used directly as "shaft power" for many industrial applications. Alternatively, the preferred option for domestic energy supply is to generate electricity with a generator or a reversed electric motor which, while less efficient, is likely to be available locally and cheaply.

Most power comes from hydroelectric energy potential of the dam water driving a water turbine and generator. Energy extracted from water depends on the volume and the height difference between the source and flow of water. The height difference is called the head. The amount of potential energy in water is proportional to the head. For high-pressure water to a turbine hydraulic May be run through a large tube called a channel.

Pumping water generates electricity to supply peak demands by moving water between reservoirs at different altitudes. In periods of low electricity demand, production capacity surplus is used for pumping water in the upper reservoir. When there is increased demand, water is returned to the lower reservoir through a turbine. Pumping systems currently the only commercially important large-scale grid energy storage and improve the daily load factor of the generation system. Hydroelectric power without reservoir capacity are called water plants they are unable to store water.


Compared to wind farms, hydroelectricity power plants have a more predictable load factor. Storage reservoirs can be dispatched to generate power when needed in times of low flow rates. Hydroelectric plants can be easily regulated to follow variations in power demand and available water volumes.

Hydroelectric turbine and electrical generator

hydroelectric dam turbine generator

Most hydroelectric power comes from the potential energy of dammed water driving a water turbine and generator.The amount of potential energy in water depends on the volume of water and is proportional to the height between the source and water's outflow (head)

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