How Does a Hydroelectric Power Plant Work?

How Does a Hydroelectric Power Plant Work?

December 06 2016

Recently, media outlet “Soy 502” published an article about renewable energy power generation and the Renace hydroelectric project. We invite you to read it:

It begins to get dark, you get up and press the switch to light the entire room in an instant. That simple action involves, behind it, a number of processes and work that you may not be aware of.  

Much of the energy produced in the country is generated through hydroelectric power plants, that are facilities which make it possible to take advantage of water flowing through rivers. 

Renace is a low-impact hydroelectric power plant complex located on the Cahabón river, in San Pedro Carchá, Alta Verapaz. 

The operation process begins with a dam, where part of the natural flow of the river is kept for later use, while the rest continues its flow without interruption. Much of the waste and debris that flows with the river is captured to allow water to continue its flow with as few impurities as possible.

Water then flows through concrete channels and a tunnel for transportation over long distances. A reservoir, that is to say, an artificial water reservoir, contains part of the resource used during peak hours, when Guatemalans consume more electricity, particularly in the 18:00 to 22:00-hour period. 

Later, in the sand trap, water slows down and settles to filter the sludge and sediment that could affect machine operations. The water is then propelled through a pressure pipe over a drop of more than 200 meters, to be turned into energy. 

This intense stream of water passes through the powerhouse, an installation with hydro-generators and turbines that transform mechanical energy into electrical energy. No additives or chemicals are added to the process.  

Finally, power voltage is raised for delivery into the National Interconnected System (SIN).

The central idea of this type of project is to take advantage of renewable resources such as water for power generation, as opposed to non-renewable sources such as oil and coal, and thus serve eco-friendly power to the communities that inhabit an area. The process culminates with cleaner water (though not safe to drink) returning to its natural course, because most of the waste was removed. 

Source: Soy 502