Hydro Power Plant | Construction Working and History of Hydro power plant

Power system mainly contains three parts namely generation, transmission and distribution. Generation means how to generate electricity from the available source and there are various methods to generate electricity but in this article we only focused on generation of electricity by the means of hydro or water (hydro power plant).
A generating station which utilizes the potential energy of water at a high level for the generation of electrical energy is known as hydro-electric power station. As we know that the power plant is defined as the place where power is generated from a given source, so here the source is hydro that’s why we called it hydro power plant.
hydro power plant In hydro power plant we use gravitational force of fluid water to run the turbine which is coupled with electric generator to produce electricity. This power plant plays an important role to protect our fossil fuel which is limited, because the generated electricity in hydro power station is the use of water which is renewable source of energy and available in lots of amount without any cost.

The big advantage of hydro power is the water which the main stuff to produce electricity in hydro power plant is free, it not contain any type of pollution and after generated electricity the price of electricity is average not too much high.

Construction and Working of Hydro Power Plant

Fundamental parts of hydro power plant are
  1. Area
  2. Dam
  3. Reservoir
  4. Penstock
  5. Storage tank
  6. Turbines and generators
  7. Switchgear and protection
For construction of hydro power plant first we choose the area where the water is sufficient to reserve and no crisis of water and suitable to build a dam. The main function of dam is to stop the flow of water and reserve the water in reservoir. Mainly dam is situated at a good height to increase the force of water. Reservoir hold lots of water which is employed to generate power by means of turbines. Penstock, the pipe which is connected between dam and turbine blades and most important purpose of the penstock is to enlarge the kinetic energy of water that’s why this pipe is made up of extremely well-built material which carry on the pressure of water. To control the pressure of water means increase or decrease water pressure whenever required, we use a valve. Storage tank comes in picture when the some reason the pressure of water in reservoir is decreases then we use storage tank it is directly connected to penstock and use only in emergency condition. After that we employ turbine and generator. Turbine is the main stuff, when water comes through the penstock with high kinetic energy and falls on turbine blades, turbine rotates at high speed. As we know that the turbine is an engine that transfers energy of fluid into mechanical energy which is coupled with generator and generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy which we utilize at the end. In hydro power plant we also add switchgears and protections which control and protect the whole process inside the plant. The control equipments consists control circuits, control devices, warning, instrumentation etc and connect to main control board. After generating electricity at low voltage, we use step up transformer to enlarge the level of voltage (generally 132 KV, 220 KV, 400 KV and above) as per our requirement. After that we transmit the electric power to the load center, and then we step down the voltage for industrial and large consumer and then again we step down the voltage to distribute electricity at domestic level which we used at home.
This is the whole process of generating electricity by the means of hydro (hydro power plant) and then transmitting and distributing electricity.

History of Hydro Power Plant

First hydro power is used by the Greeks to spin water wheels for crushing wheat into flour before more than 2000 years ago. In the 1700's, hydropower was generally used for pumping irrigation (non-natural use of water on the way to the land) water. We start to generate electricity from hydro power in 1882 when United States (US) establishes a first hydro power station which generate 12.5 kilowatts (KW) of power. The rapid growth of hydro power comes in 1900’s when hydraulic reaction turbine comes in picture as a result in 1900’s hydro power plants fulfill the requirement of 40% of total United States' electricity. In between 1905-1911 largest hydro power station (Roosevelt Dam) is built by the united state and its generated capacity is increased from 4500 kW to 36,000 kW. In 1914 S.J. Zowski developed the high specific speed reaction (Francis) turbine runner for low head applications. 1922 the first time a hydroelectric plant was built specifically for crest power. In 1933 Hoover Dam, Arizona generated electricity first time. In 1940 over 1500 hydro power plants generate about one third of the United States electrical energy.

If we compare the countries on the basis of generated electricity by the means of hydro power, Canada on the top after that United State then Brazil then Russia then China then Norway and at 7th number India is present. India fulfills the 3.5 % power to the total world power through hydro power plants.
In India scope of hydro power is very good, first hydro power station, capacity of 130kW establishes in Asia at mounts of Darjeeling in 1898 and after that in 1902 Shimsh (Shivanasamudra) is established and both located in India. Now a day in India the leading hydro power plant is located of river Naptha Jhakri hydro project of 1500MW in Himachal Pradesh. In India main boost come in the field of hydro power in august 1998 when the Government of India publicized a plan on ‘Hydro Power Development’ after that in November 2008 once again Indian government announced this plan and as a result India become leading country list to produce hydro power. This is a general idea about hydro power plant.

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