Using Water As a Power Source
Published on October 21, 2017
Environment / Green Living

Water is used as a significant power source in many parts of the world. In fact, Norway uses it to produce 99 percent of its electricity. So, how does it work?

Water constantly moves through a vast global cycle. First, it evaporates from water sources such as lakes and oceans, forming clouds. The water is returned to the Earth in the form of precipitation such as rain or snow. This eventually flows through rivers until it reaches larger bodies of water such as monstrous lakes like Lake Baikal in Russia or oceans.

The sun powers this natural cycle through the evaporation process. In doing so, it also gives us a very clean energy resource that can be used to generate massive amounts of electricity. .

When flowing water is captured and turned into electricity, it is called hydroelectric power. While there are different types of hydroelectric power plants, all rely on the kinetic energy found in flowing water as a basis for generating electricity. In projects such as the Three Gorges Dam in China, the amount of electricity produced is simply stunning.

The exact process by generating electricity differs slightly in each situation, but is basically uniform in the fundamental workings. A site is located on a river where there is a significant volume of water and flow rate. A dam is then built on the river, which effectively seals off the water flow. When the dam is built, spillways are created within the structure, which allow the water to pass through the dam in a controlled manner.

Within the lower section of these spillways, large turbines are placed with their �paddle� fans in the path of the water. As the water rushes pass, the fans are turned and electricity is produced. The electricity is then either stored or sent out on lines for use in cities. For example, electricity produced from Hoover Damn on the Colorado River supplies electricity to Las Vegas and surrounding towns.

Generating electricity with water is a fairly common methodology. Since it doesn�t produce pollutants or waste, it is also a good one for our environment.


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Rick Chapo is with � a directory of solar energy and solar power companies. Visit to read more solar electricity articles.

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