Hydro Power Plant

Hydroelectric Power Plant: Definition, Working Diagram or Layout [with PDF]

Amrit Kumar Thermodynamics 12 Comments

The article includes Definition, Working principle, Diagram,  Advantages, Disadvantages, Application, PDF of Hydro Power Plant.

Hydroelectric Power Plant:

In 2012, hydroelectric power plants contributed about 16% of the total electricity generation in the world. 

Hydroelectricity is the most widely used form of renewable energy. It is a flexible source of electricity and also the cost of electricity generation is relatively low. 

Hydroelectric Power Plant Parts / Working Diagram / Layout:

It consists of mainly 5 parts:

  1. Dam and Reservoir
  2. Control Gate
  3. Penstock
  4. Water Turbine
  5. Generator
  6. Surge tank

1. Dam and Reservoir: 

When we hearing the word Dam that means sufficient water storage at some height (Because when the water from some height release so the velocity increase and which is further used for the generation of electricity with the use of turbine).

The dam forms a large reservoir behind it.

The height of the water level (called a water head) in the reservoir determines how much potential energy is stored in it.

2. Control Gate: 

Now the control gate working,

In simple words, this is like controlling the flow of water (first Water from the reservoir is allowed to flow through the penstock and to the turbine).

The amount of water that is to be released in the penstock can be controlled by a control gate. 

When the control gate is fully opened, the maximum amount of water is released through the Penstock.

3. Penstock: 

The potential energy of the water is converted into kinetic energy as it flows down through the Penstock due to gravity.

4. Water Turbine or Hydraulic Turbine: 

The flow of water from the Penstock is taken into the water turbine.

The turbine is mechanically coupled to an electric generator.

The kinetic energy of the water drives the turbine and consequently, the generator gets driven.

5. Generator:

A generator is mounted in the powerhouse and it is mechanically coupled to the turbine shaft.

When the turbine blades are rotated, it drives the generator, The electricity is generated which is then stepped up with the help of a transformer for the transmission purpose.

6. Surge Tank:

The Surge tanks are usually provided in high or medium head power plants when considerably long Penstock is required.

A surge tank is a small reservoir or tank which is open at the top. It is fitted between the reservoir and the powerhouse.

The water level in the surge tank rises or falls to reduce the pressure swings in the Penstock.

In Brief,

As the above diagram is shown is the layout of the Hydroelectric power plant.

A large amount of water available in the reservoir before the dam.

In the dam there is fitted penstock which works is to flow of water to the turbine and at the tailrace, there is turbine situated when water strikes to the turbine blade it starts rotating therefor hydraulic energy is converted into the mechanical energy and then use of generator the mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy.

Advantages of Hydroelectric power plant:

  1. This power plant is a renewable energy source. The water-energy can be used again and again.
  2. This is having high efficiency.
  3. The running cost of the Hydraulic turbine is less as compared to other turbines.
  4. The environmental pollution system is negligible here.
  5. The main advantages of the Hydraulic turbine are that at the turbine place, the people can visit and come across all the main parts in detail. This is like an open system.

Disadvantages of Hydroelectric power plant:

  1. This power plant Installation or Initial cost is very high.
  2. This plant takes several decades to produces the profit.
  3. The main disadvantages are that It can develop at only a few sites or place where a good amount of water is available. 

Application of Hydroelectric power plant:

  1. This is the most widely used form of renewable sources of energy according to survey the 16 percent global electricity consumption.
  2. The obviously large amount of electricity has been produced by this Hydroelectric power plant with the use of Hydraulic turbines.
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About the Author

Amrit Kumar

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Amrit is a Co-founder of Learn Mechanical Portal (Previously owned "Engramritkumar.com"). He completed his diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Acharya Polytechnic Bangalore and also completed his B-Tech from Delhi. Amrit is now preparing for Govt. exams. If you need help, you can ask him regarding any suggestions in the mechanical engineering field. He loves to meet new people.

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