Hydroelectricity Generation: Power From the Flow

By Energy CIO Insights | Tuesday, March 05, 2019

The hydro force was previously used to generate mechanical energy, and it was the first source of energy to produce electricity. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, hydroelectricity in 2017 accounted to about 7.5 percent of the total U.S. utility-scale electricity and up to 44 percent of utility-scale electricity generation from clean energy sources. As the result of an increase in electricity generation from other sources, electricity generation share of hydroelectricity was reduced in the U.S. An inventor from Robert, LA, has developed a new type of utility-scale called HYDROCELL for hydroelectric power generation. The system draws power from ocean current and river which is then converted into electricity. A program about portable waterwheel inspired the inventor.

HYDROCELL is aimed to provide steady and reliable electricity in remote areas where there are lack and constant need for electricity. Compared to the current type of energy production this method is affordable with no environmental side effects. The highly mobile design makes it adaptable to various location and conditions. Since the power source of energy generation is from water, the power plants are usually located near a water source. The amount of water flow and the change in elevation will decide the available energy in water. Swiftly flowing rivers generally carry a massive amount of energy. Water rapidly flowing down from a waterfall also holds a significant amount of energy. In run-of-the river-system, current in water will apply pressure on the turbine. In a storage system, water in the dam is released to generate electricity. In the U.S., only a small amount of dams produce electricity because most of the dams were constructed to control flood and for irrigation, hence they do not have hydroelectricity generators.  

Small scale hydropower can be effective if it is designed and installed correctly; it has a very less environmental risk. A steady flow of water can provide energy at low cost, and it can be a reliable source of clean energy. Fossil fuel usage increases pollution which affects the environment, clean energy can be availed for low cost, and the source of energy is maintenance free. Excess electricity can be sold to the local utility, and when there is a power shortage, electricity can be availed from grid-connected hydro energy system.

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