Hydroelectric power
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  • 1. An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman 7/09/09
  • 2. Table of Contents
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 3. Introduction
    Energy: the ability to do work
    Human civilization has harnessed and utilized energy at an exponential rate
    This is troubling, as society demands more and more energy, while conventional energy becomes less and less available
    Digestion
    (Chemical Energy)
    Combustion
    (Chemical Energy)
    Wind
    (Mechanical Energy)
    Electricity
    Unfortunately, most energy sources are gone forever after use.
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 4. Introduction
    The sustainable energy focused upon today is Hydroelectric Power
    We will:
    • Define it as renewable
    • 5. Examine it’s origins
    • 6. Observe it’s potential
    • 7. Discuss it’s costs
    • 8. Note it’s limitations
    • 9. Summarize our findings
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 10. Alternative vs. Renewable
    Changes with society
    Energy generated from alternatives to the primary energy source
    (currently fossil fuels)
    No implication of pollution!
    Energy that can replaced rapidly by natural processes
    Static definition
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 11. Alternative vs. Renewable
    Key Facts:
    • Today’s standard can be tomorrow’s alternative
    • 12. Energy cannot be created or destroyed: all energy has a limit
    • 13. Every time energy is converted, some of it is lost
    • 14. There is always a form of pollution when harnessing energy
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 15. Hydropower History
    Hydropower was one of the first “modern” renewable utilized by humanity, when water wheels were discovered (~4,000 B.C.)
    For almost 6,000 years engineers have innovated and adapted the water wheel to better suit their needs, or increase efficiency.
    All these wheels shared the same basic principle:
    They transferred:
    Kinetic energy
    to
    Mechanical energy
    in order to perform work
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 16. Hydroelectric is born
    Copper Disc
    Magnet
    Rotation
    It wasn’t until 1831 that a new way to harness hydropower would become possible.
    It was in 1831, when
    Michael Faraday discovered the homopolar generator, now commonly known as dynamos.
    Binding Screws
    (to capture current)
    Electricity
    Hydropower could easily adapted for the repetitive work necessary to generate a steady stream of current from Faraday’s generators
    However, it was another 50 years, before efficiency improvements were made to Faraday’s design in order for hydroelectricity to become practical
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 17. Hydroelectricity in Infancy
    By 1890, there were over 200 plants in the United States and Canada
    Niagara Falls was one of the first hydroelectric plants, powering street lamps
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 18. Hydroelectricity in Growth
    IN
    1940
    1907
    1936
    Hydroelectricity accounted for 15% of all electricity in the United States
    This figure grew to 40%
    The Hoover Dam was completed, as the largest hydroelectric plant in it’s time
    (It is currently the 35th largest hydroelectric plant, over 70 years later!)
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 19. The Hydrological Cycle
    Gravity
    Heat
    Solar
    So…
    If energy can’t be created or destroyed…
    Where does the power come
    from for hydroelectricity?
    Kinetic
    Where’s the energy you ask?
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 20. The Hydrological Cycle
    Electric
    Kinetic
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 21. Costs
    After the dam is built and the power plant is installed, Hydroelectric can outcompete all other renewable energies in cost. This is because that hydroelectric plants have very low operating and maintenance costs.
    As you can see, hydroelectric is extremely competitive in cost
    (and easily has the best cost to renewability ratio)
    Furthermore, a hydroelectric plant has a service life of about 100 years, making it a smart investment.
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 22. Hydroelectric Today
    Environmentalists
    In 2006, Hydroelectric power accounted for 2/3 of the world’s renewable energy, which was 19% of it’s electricity
    Yet the steep drop in Hydroelectric power in 2007
    has another key reason:
    2006 was a record year for water availability (rain)
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 23. Environmental Shortcomings
    Hydroelectric power may not burn fuel or emit C02,
    but it does affect the environment
    • Organic matter also gathers in the reservoir and rots…
    releasing greenhouse gases
    • All dams change the food chains and native habitats of river wildlife
    Methane
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 24. Other Shortcomings
    • Dam failure is a catastrophic event that societies need to avoid and take full precautions for.
    • 25. While water is indefinitely renewable, it is not a constant/reliable source. There will be times when water availability is beyond capacity to be harnessed, and times when there is not enough to supply electricity demand. Running a business that is dependant upon constant/predictable weather conditions is inherently high-risk.
    • 26. Many of the best rivers for damming have already been dammed, hydroelectric is best suited for large-scale plants.
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 27. Current Trends
    As we saw in the previous slides, despite it’s many advantages hydroelectric dams have been getting shut down primarily due to environmental lobbying. However, this was also during a period of cheap energy. Now that energy prices have jumped, we will likely see less hydroelectric dams being shut down.
    Most environmentalists will agree that hydroelectric still beats fossil fuels or nuclear plants. Most economists will agree that consumers will purchase the product that offers them the most value for their money. Hydroelectric is still the best value renewable energy for the foreseeable future.
    Furthermore, energy use continued to climb in 2007, despite less hydroelectric power being used. Renewable energy use decreased for the first time in five years.
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman
  • 28. Conclusion
    Hydroelectric power was one of the first renewable sources of energy, and therefore the most developed currently.
    Overtime other renewable sources of energy will develop and become competitive, offering a wider variety of affordable renewable energy.
    Hydroelectric’s market growth in the United States seems to have reached a plateau and is unlikely to see significant growth in the future.
    For sources, please refer to the writing sample!
    An Introduction To
    Hydroelectric Power
    By Scott Templeman