Hydroelectric Power

990 Words4 Pages
Hydroelectric Power The idea of electricity started around 500 B.C. as the Greek philosopher Thales experimented with amber, a fossilized tree sap, by rubbing it and observing that it starts to attract certain types of materials, this is the first documented study of static electricity. In 1646 the term electricity was coined by Walter Charlton to describe the attraction of the different materials. Throughout the 1700's many advancements in the study of electricity were made to include the idea of ferrous and non ferrous elements, the storage of an electrical charge is successful, and in 1794 the first battery was successfully used, up till this time the only forms of electricity was static. 1831 the first electric generator is produced by Micheal Faraday, just after the generator was produced Joseph Henry takes the idea of the generator and uses the principles to create the electric motor. The main use to turn the generators was fossil fuels, and the need to find alternatives to power the generators turned to hydropower, the use of water energy to turn the turbines that in turn power the generators that produce electricity. 1880 the Grand Rapids Electric Light and Power Company use a dynamo, belted to a water turbine to power 16 brush arc lamps to light the Wolverine Chair Factory, 1881 saw the use of hydropower to generate electricity to power the streetlights in the city of Niagara Falls. The next Five years saw the growth of 45 water-powered electric plants in the United States and Canada. The first hydropower plant in the west opened in San Bernardino, Ca., in 1887, by the end of 1889 there were some 200 water-powered plants in the United States, from 1907-1920 the total of all electricity being produced by hydro-plant... ... middle of paper ... ...gnetic field is created. 4. The stator is the stationary part of the generator made of coils of copper wire. Electricity is produced as the rotors spin past the stationary wiring. 5. The shaft connects the turbine to the rotor section of the generator. All three elements, the turbine, shaft, and rotor turn at the same speed of 90 revolutions per minute. 6. The wicket gates are a series of 20 adjustable vanes, resembling vertical blinds. They control the volume of water flowing through the turbine. 7. The 172-ton hydraulic turbine resembles a large water wheel. The turbine converts the energy of falling water into mechanical energy to drive the generator. 1. The Alliance to Save Energy 1200 18th Street, NW, Suite 900 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: 202/857-0666 Fax: 202/331-9588 info@ase.org www.ase.org
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