Landolt-Börnstein - Group VIII Advanced Materials and Technologies

2.1 Introduction to hydroelectric power

Abstract

This chapter discusses hydroelectric power in detail. Water power is a form of primary energy which was used very early in human history. Today, water power is used almost exclusively for producing electricity. Modern water power plants extract 80 to 90 percent of the potential energy. The potential energy available for power generation at a Hydro Powerplant (HPP) is called net available head h or simply net head . The resulting net head is to be used in calculating the energy output. In combination with the actual discharge, the electrical power output can be expressed by the water power equation. Efficiency curves of a Francis and Kaplan turbine are compared with a water wheel. One of the most significant advantages of water power is the high grade of energy output in comparison with the energy that has to be invested in the building and maintenance of the HPP structure. Current power generation and energy output at a run-of-river depends on the available discharge in the river. There are three sectors of demand for electricity, namely base load, center load and peak load. While water power is represented in each of the load categories, river power plants usually belong to the category of base load power plants. Finally, the chapter talks about the economical aspects of water power in relation to other energy suppliers.

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Title
2.1 Introduction to hydroelectric power
Book Title
Renewable Energy
In
2 Hydroelectric power
Book DOI
10.1007/b83039
Chapter DOI
10.1007/10858992_2
Part of
Landolt-Börnstein - Group VIII Advanced Materials and Technologies
Volume
3C
Editors
  • K. Heinloth Send Email (100)
  • Editor Affiliation
  • 100 Physikalisches Institut, Universität Bonn, Nußallee 12, 53115, Bonn, Germany
  • Authors
  • Th. Strobl (21)
  • F. Zunic Send Email (21)
  • Author Affiliation
  • 21 Lehrstuhl für Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft, TU München, München, Germany
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