Hydroelectric Energy

Hydroelectric enery is a type of energy that is powered by water.  Water falls from the storage reservoir through the penstock to spin the generator and joins the downstream outlet.
(Pictured below).
This picture was taken from Electrical Land Electronics. 

The Hoover Dam

The hoover dam is one of the United State's greatest accomplishments.  Since it was made it has awed tourists with its massive height, size, and prestige.  According to the Teacher's Domain, it holds back a reservoir that covers nearly 650 square kilometers (250 square miles). Yet, perhaps even more impressive is the dam's ability to harness the potential energy stored in the reservoir and convert it to electricity.  It goes on to say later that the Hoover Dam creates an average of about 4,000,000,000 kWh per year.  (A kilowatt-hour, kWh is the equivilant of using 1000 watts in one hour.  A normal 100 watt light bulb if left on all year and never turned off would use only 876 kWh.  This would power more than four and a half million light bulbs if they were left on all year.)  The Hoover Dam, and other such facilities can reduce our dependencies on fossil fuels.

Click this link to watch a video on how the Hoover Dam and similar facilities work:

How Does it All Work?

The force of the water that falls through the penstock spins the generator.  The purpose of a generator is to transform kinetic energies into electrical energy.  How does it do this?  It is very simple.  According to E-How, (Electrical Know How), a spinning copper coil located between two magnets can create a steady flow of electrons. Because the water flows through the penstock consistantly the generator will spin and create electricity twenty four seven.  Wind powered generators work in the same way.  (See the Wind Power tab to the left.) Hydro electric energy is nearly 10 percent of the energy the United states uses, but we can do much better than this.  Hydro electric energy is the energy of the future, as it is not as bad for the environment as the fossil fuels, which is now the leading source of energy in the United States.  According to the New World Enciclopedia.  The largest hydroelectric plant is the Three Gorges Dam located in northern China along the Yangttze River.  (Pictured below). 

Click on this link for intresting facts on Hydroelectric Power

Click on this link to learn more about the history of Hydroelectric Power


1.  The first hydroelectric power station in history started producing electricity in 1882.
2.  Hydroelectric energy is used in many countries around the world, including Brazil, Canada, Russia, Tanzania, Iceland, North Korea, and New Zealand.
3.  Hydroelectric power stations generated just over fifteen percent of California's electricity during 1999.
4.  China generates more hydroelectricity than any other country.
5.  Hydropower is used to produce more electricity than other renewable methods in the U.S.