The image shows the structure of the installation of a hydropower plant in the form of an artificial dam, viewed from side.
The hydropower plant or the hydroelectric dam has the role of transforming the kinetic or mechanical energy of water into electricity, like other power plants that use wind or heat and steam pressure to obtain electricity through a generator.
Another important role is to prevent rivers from overflowing and flooding the banks, keeping the flow of water under control.
To obtain electricity, the hydropower plant is provided with a dam, built in the way of water, usually on a river, near a waterfall, where the water flows according to gravity with a flow high enough not to dry in hot seasons.
The water is rendered both on the left edge and on the right edge, by the wavy texture.
From the left, where the tank reservoir is located, the water is directed through an entrance of the dam similar to a gate, highlighted by a blank vertical rectangle, cut in the center by two vertical and parallel lines, crossed by other horizontal ones.
The tank reservoir or the artificial lake, the place where the river water is collected, has the highest level, therefore the dam must be raised to a sufficient height above the water level of the tank.
Next is the dam wall, rendered as the higher left side with a narrow tip of the large and embossed central square, representing the hydropower plant itself.
On the center of the hydropower plant, the water is collected through a special pipe, with the left mouth in the shape of a funnel, whose route is shown inclined to the bottom right, marked blank and narrow, until it reaches the turbine.
The turbine is represented at the left end of the waterway, rendered as a blank circle in the center of which is a thickened dot surrounded by four lines arranged like a sloping cross.
The turbine is a mechanism with jagged wheels that rotate with great power due to the gravitational force of water, and transmits this kinetic energy to the generator above.
The generator is shown at the top of the turbine, in the center of a blank square, in the form of a small horizontal rectangle, embossed.
It converts kinetic energy into electricity which it distributes further to the electricity distribution network through the power lines above.
The overhead power lines are highlighted in the upper left, by three horizontal and parallel lines.
The water is released on the right side of the dam through the outlet, following its course. Rivers and streams are usually diverted through a tunnel built alongside the power plant.
The piece of land representing the river bank at the top of the water on the right is rendered by dotted texture.
After the discovery of the utility of the electric current, interest in its generation methods increased. At first, electricity was only available in places where there were individual power generators. For this reason, it was necessary to create an electricity generation and distribution infrastructure to ensure the supply of electricity to a wider area. The infrastructure has been created and so we have electricity in almost all populated areas of the Earth. This infrastructure is called an electricity grid. The main components of the electricity grid are the power plants in which the current is produced, the transformer stations that adjust the voltage according to the needs of the consumers, and the cables through which all elements of the grid are interconnected. Also, through the cables, the current reaches the consumers.
Power plants are of many kinds, depending on the energy they use to produce electricity. Thus, we distinguish: thermal power plants, hydropower plants, wind power plants and nuclear power plants. All power plants have as their main component electric generators, which convert mechanical energy into electricity.
Hydropower plants are a green, clean resource of electricity. These, like wind power plants, are equipped with turbines. If wind power plants use wind force to operate turbines, hydropower plants use the force of flowing water. Hydropower plants are built on rivers or rivers. Artificial dams are used to increase performance. These are intentional blockages of the water of a river or river and are intended to retain water in order to form a reservoir. The reservoirs serve to create a reserve of water necessary to produce electricity, but also for the water supply of some localities. A large amount of water is collected in the reservoir, which is subsequently released with increased pressure towards the turbines. To better understand the phenomenon, we can turn on a faucet, then put a finger on the water’s flow, applying pressure. We will notice that the water jet will have an increased force and will be able to splash even remotely from the faucet. In this situation, the amount of water flowing to the tap will not be greater, but the jet will have an increased force. We can say that the finger represents the dam, and the build-up is the water on the faucet pipe.
The most important hydropower plant in Romania was built on the Danube, at the Iron Gates I and II dam. Other important hydropower plants are: the Izvorul Muntului hydropower plant in Bicaz, the Vidraru hydropower plant and the Rocka hydropower plant, Costesti.
Did you know that Romania is the largest wind farm in Europe? This is CEZ Wind Park and is in Constanta County.
The largest hydropower plant in the world was built in China and, if used to the fullest, could generate twice the electricity needs for the whole of Romania.
The largest atomic catastrophe in Europe occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, when the plant’s reactor 4 exploded. The consequences of this accident are still being felt today and will still be present for a long time.