Hydro – Energy by the water
A power plant which creates energy by using the force of falling water is called a hydropower plant. Large hydropower plants produce more than 30 megawatts, small ones at least 10 MW. There are many different kinds how hydropower plants work.
Impoundment: The most common type is the “impoundment“. This one uses a dam to store the water from a river into a reservoir. When the dam stores enough water, it is released. The falling water flows through a turbine and spins it. The turbine activates a generator which produces the electricity.
Diversion: Another type of hydropower plant is the “diversion“ which makes use of a running river. The water is redirected by a pipe or a penstock. The natural flow of the water goes through a turbine, which runs a generator to produce electric energy.
Pumped storage: The last type of hydropower plant is the “pumped storage“. It works with a reservoir placed high and a second one placed lower to have a gradient connection, with a turbine, between them. When the high placed reservoir releases the water, it spins the turbine through the water flow, which starts the generator to produce electricity. The fallen water is stored in the low placed reservoir. During time when not much energy is needed, like in the night or at weekends, the water is pumped back to the high reservoir.