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It is the energy that is stored as dynamic energy in a gravitational field by the accumulation of large amounts of water at an altitude difference from the continuation of the flow of free water, and is rendered as kinetic by water drop. The kinetic energy can then either be used locally (eg watermills), or converted into electricity or other, which store it, so that it can eventually be transported over long distances. In the earth's water cycle, energy comes mainly from the sun that evaporates, that is, it raises (in the atmosphere) large amounts of water. The energy in this cycle is harnessed by the use of hydroelectric projects (dams, dams, closed fall ducts, hydro turbines, generators, escape channels).


Energy from water drop: The operation of hydroelectric units is based on the movement of water due to the difference in manometer height between the inlet and outlet points. For this purpose a dam is constructed that holds the required amount of water in the reservoir created. During its passage through the fall pipe, a turbine is driven which starts the generator.

The amount of energy produced is determined by the volume of water flowing, the difference in manometer height between the free surface of the reservoir and the turbine, etc. Therefore, the electricity produced depends on the amount of water in the reservoir. Therefore, hydroelectric projects can only be constructed in areas with significant rainfall, rich springs and suitable geological configuration. Usually the energy ultimately produced is used only in addition to other conventional sources of energy, covering peak loads. In Greece hydroelectric power meets about 9% of our electricity needs.

Hydroelectric Projects: Hydroelectric projects are classified on a large and small scale. Small-scale hydroelectric projects differ significantly from large-scale hydroelectric projects in their environmental impacts.

  • Large-scale hydroelectric plants require the creation of dams and huge tanks with significant environmental impacts. Dam construction restricts the movement of fish, wildlife and affects the entire ecosystem as it radically changes the morphology of the area.
  • On the contrary, small-scale hydroelectricity is installed next to rivers or canals and their operation is much less environmental disturbing. For this reason, hydroelectric plants of less than 30 MW are characterized as small-scale hydroelectric projects and are included among renewable energy plants. During their operation, part of the flow of a river is driven by a turbine to generate mechanical energy and subsequently electricity through the generator. The amount of water used then returns to the natural reservoir following its natural flow.

It is especially important to know the role and differences of these as they play a large role depending on our purpose.


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