What is hydro energy?
Hydro energy is electric power derived from the energy of running water. The movement of water rotates a turbine that drives a generator, which produces electricity.
Hydro power is an abundant form of clean energy and a perfect alternative for polluting fossil fuels. It’s free, unlimited and flexible.
How does it work?
The energy in water in the form of potential energy, due to a height difference called the head, is transformed into useful kinetic energy (movement) while it streams down. It is this kinetic energy that drives the turbine. Water is fed from the forebay tank through a pipe, called the penstock, into the turbine. The speed and pressure of the flowing water that falls on the turbine blades cause rotation of the turbine shaft. This shaft drives the electric generator. The electricity is then transformed to grid voltage and is transported by power cables to the main electricity grid.
The power extracted from the water depends on
- the flow rate of the water
- the flow duration curve over the year
- the head (= the height difference between the reservoir or forebay tank and the power house, where the turbine is located)
Why hydro energy?
Depending on site specific variables and the type of construction, the average payback time of a hydro installation is around 10 years. The lifespan of such installations is more than 40 years.
Small hydro-electric power plants are a source of low-cost and constant renewable energy. They are highly efficient and reliable, and require almost no maintenance.
Since no fuel is used, and no harmful waste or CO2 is emitted during the whole generation process and distribution of the electricity, hydro energy is one of the most sustainable and green solutions for energy supply.
Upgrade Energy brings hydro energy to your company
Upgrade Energy designs, builds and maintains small hydroelectric power plants of 50 kWe to 10 MWe.
If you would like to know more about the possibilities of hydro energy for your company or institution, don’t hesitate to contact us.