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With Dams For The Clean Generation Of Energy

With Dams For The Clean Generation Of Energy

Dams play a significant role in generating clean energy. But the construction of the enormous walls also requires sacrifices. You have to relocate the people in the area, and the risk of earthquakes increases. But hydropower is still an essential part of the energy mix. After all, the global trend is towards sustainable electricity generation. At the same time, demand is increasing rapidly. Countries with enough water can therefore continue to rely on the two forms of electricity generation using water in the future. You have the opportunity to build run-of-river power plants and storage power plants and thus benefit from clean electricity through water.

That Is How Water Becomes Electricity

First of all, there are run-of-river power plants. They use the power of broad rivers and do not need large differences in altitude. Run-of-river power plants are always in operation. You, therefore, do not need any reservoirs. The situation is entirely different in countries with high mountains. If there is a large height gradient between the pool and the waterworks, you can use the storage power plants. This type of power plant can be found from Brazil to China, from Switzerland to India. Brazil, for example, covers 80 per cent of its total energy needs from reservoirs and the connected storage power plants. Even in Switzerland, it is more than fifty per cent. Worldwide, however, the share of hydropower is significantly lower. Here not even a fifth of the energy required is obtained from hydropower.

Water becomes electricity by using the potential kinetic energy of the water. That is what happens when flowing or falling water hits a wheel with blades. The power of the water sets the wheel in motion. You generate the energy, which you converted into mechanical energy. Man has used this principle for himself for many centuries. At the end of the 19th century, high-speed turbines replaced the water wheels. The invention of turbines started a revolution. Because this eliminated the intermediate step of converting mechanical energy into electrical energy, the new turbines could produce a lot more electricity at the same time. The best example of this is one of the most massive dam waterworks in the world. That is in Brazil, in Itaipu Binacional. You can find the world’s largest generator for renewable energy there. Twenty turbines in a row produce electricity in a one-kilometre long turbine house.

That Is How Water Becomes Electricity
That Is How Water Becomes Electricity

If necessary, you can also drain water from the reservoir. It falls down the track and hits the turbines. The height of fall in such pools can be 300 meters. The water drives the blades of the Turninen and rotates around a shaft. Then they transfer the energy generated to a generator. That can generate electrical energy from mechanical energy with the help of a magnetic field. If you generate too much energy, the storage power plants can use it to pump the water back up. Dams are therefore a tried and tested means of generating clean electricity. They use natural resource water to promote progress.