After the Industrial Revolution the demand of electric power increases rapidly. More and more power generation is the necessity of power station to fulfill the increased demand. The electricity initially produced by using hydraulic energy. Hydropower is the first invention to produce electricity on large quantity. After the Hydroelectric power, engineers worked on Thermal Power Plants and then Atomic Power Plants. In this article, I will try to share knowledge on Hydro-Electric Power Station.
The engineers working on hydroelectric power plants has to concentrate mainly on following essential sections,
01) Storage Reservoir
The reservoir is the section where the available water from the catchment area is stored. The storage reservoir may be natural or artificial, based on the requirement of the plant. The engineer has to decide the sufficient capacity of the reservoir from which water should be available for running the turbines, for production of the required quantity of electric power.
02) Dam and other Parts
In order to check the flow of water and impound it in the reservoir formed on the upstream side, a dam is constructed across the river. The size and type of dam depends upon the character of river, head of water, amount of discharge etc. The dam is provided with gates for regulating the flow of water and an automatic arrangement for overflow of the excess water. Till date the engineers are not successful in resolving the maintenance problems of the dam.
03) Water Ways
A passage through which the water is carried from the dam to the power station and then to river is called as water ways. The upper portion is known as head race while lower portion is known as tail race. The water ways may be in the form of Tunnels, Canals or Pipes. To eliminate the effect of water hammer and to control the variations in pressure, a Surge Tank is provided just on the upstream of the Hydro-Electric Power Station.
04) Power House
This is the place, where Water Turbines and Electric Generators are installed. The design of the power house is very complicated and requires lot of engineering skills. The availability of space, transport facilities etc factors will decide the position of power house. The size of power plant is decided by water supply head, type of units, number and size of units, electrical arrangements etc.For better efficiency and maximum power production, the electrical generators are directly coupled with the turbines. The turbines may be designed and installed with horizontal or vertical shafts. In horizontal shaft layout, the whole installation lies on the same floor. The advantage of this layout is, easy to inspection, service or any other modification in the plant. In vertical shaft layout, the generators are spaced well above the water surface, this will make convenient to connect incoming pipe and outgoing draft tube.
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