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  Hydro Electric Power Plant

Hydroelectric power plants use the potential energy of water stored in a reservoir to operate turbines. The turbines are connected to large generators, and can operate on varying volumes of water to adapt to changing demand for electricity. Hydroelectric power plant capacity is related to the height and capacity of a reservoir and requires certain conditions in local geography in addition to a water source. Hydro is a renewable energy source and more cost-effective than many other renewable sources of energy such as photovoltaic. Hydropower currently provides about 25% of the world's electricity and is very flexible in scale.

Functioning of a hydroelectric power plant

Hydroelectricity is produced in a hydroelectric power plant. In this plant, the water is released from a high location. The potential energy present in the water is converted into kinetic energy, which is then used to rotate the blades of a turbine. The turbine is hooked to the generator which produces electricity.

The main components of hydroelectric power plant are:

The Reservior

Water from a natural water body like a river is stored in the reservoir. This reservoir is built at a level higher than the turbine.

The Dam

The flow of water stored in the reservoir is obstructed by huge walls of the dam. This prevents the water from flowing and helps us harness the energy present in it. The dam consists of gates present at its bottom, which can be lifted to allow the flow of water through them.

The Penstock

This connects the reservoir with the turbine propeller and runs in a downward inclined manner. When the gates of the dam are lifted, the force of gravity makes the water flow down the penstock and reaches the blades of the turbine. As the water flows through the penstock, the potential energy of water stored in the dam is converted into kinetic energy.

The Turbine

The kinetic energy of the running water turns the blades of the turbine. The turbine can be either a Pelton Wheel Model or a Centrifugal type. The turbine has a shaft connected to the generator./font>

The Generator

A shaft runs from the turbine to the generator. When the blades of the turbine rotate, the shaft turns a motor which produces electric current in the generator.

Power Lines

The power produced in the generator is sent to various power distribution stations through the power lines.

Power Lines

The power produced in the generator is sent to various power distribution stations through the power lines. After passing through the turbine, the water flows through an outlet pipe called the tailrace and is released into the river downstream of the power plant.


The information set out in this document constitutes a set of general guidelines and should not be construed or relied upon as specialist advice. Independent legal advice should always be sought. Therefore Risktechnik accepts no responsibility towards any person relying upon these Risk Management Guides nor any liability whatsoever for the accuracy of data supplied by another party or the consequences of reliance upon it.

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