Hydropower Energy And Its Engineering Challenges

Perhaps you already know that engineering gave a lot to the world we are living in. It transformed people’s quality of work, created vital infrastructure, and allowed improved sanitation. All of us including friends, family, and other people we might not know benefited from everything that engineering handed out. Unfortunately, the process behind the developmental functions of these power tools relied on non-renewable fuels. Our focus on the impact of greater convenience makes us ignore the resources where it produced lower rates compared to our usage.

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Non-Renewable Resource Disadvantages

Non-renewable resources will soon fade out because it is not designed to remain forever. Resources such as natural gas and oil might lose its existence after another half-century. It is something that people are probably sure about because usage is twice as much its production. Aside from that, the excessive use of these resources is frankly way terrible for the environment. That’s because the emission of 87% of harmful carbon dioxide over the last years already showed a significant change in the ecological unit.

For now, non-renewable resources are doing a great job in sustaining our energy needs. All of which are operating broadly at the same principle which gets based on heat engines.  However, the consistently burning of fuels such as oil, coals, and naturals are great contributors to environmental damage. It dramatically affects the oceans as well as the atmosphere by changing the climate more precariously. With this condition, the need for finding a new power source is what our world needs right now.

Hydropower Energy Sources And Complications

The most useful and less damaging supply of renewable resources comes from the natural occurrence on earth. These include solar power, wind power, and hydropower, and geothermal power. That’s because none of these will run out. There is pretty much a billion years for these. Also, renewable energy releases no to a little number of harmful by-products.

But what brings impossibility to its function is the control. Let’s create an example as we look at the scenarios during the halftime break of the 2018 World Cup. A considerable number of individuals in the UK probably opened their fridge to grab a snack or drink. It causes the compressors of the refrigerator to turn on. Then there are those people who already had a lot of drinks. Imagine this massive amount of individuals used the bathroom and simultaneously flush the toilet during the break. It created an increasing demand for the pumping stations where there’s maintenance in the water pressure system. From there, we take hydropower as an example.

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We know that hydropower converts kinetic energy from the motion of a running source of water and turns it into the electrical supply. In a fast flowing water source, the diversion is through a run-of-river power plant that goes through a tunnel that turns on the turbines for generating energy. It perfectly works in some places. However, the complication on this process is the control of the said generator.  That is because there is no chance to escalate up the supply when the demand for energy spikes up as well as put a lot of pressure into the grid when it is not in use. The run-of-river power plant struggles because the generated power will somehow depend on the amount of water flowing in the river.

To think that experts already found a solution to this, they somehow incorporated a hydroelectric dam in the development. It is where a massive reservoir of water gets flooded in a specific area that falls through the generator’s turbine at the bottom of the dam. With that, the water’s kinetic energy now turns into a power source. The installation of the intake valve, which shuts down and opens, can control the water flow from the dam. It is an excellent solution because it allows a manageable production of used and reserve energy that meets the demand of the electrical grid. Unfortunately, this engineered mechanism also suffers from a complication.

The flooding of an area is not at all free from consequences. That is because it requires a sudden change to the environment. By that, the prevention of natural flow of water downstream affects the local ecology more devastatingly. It leaves an imbalance in the marine resources that alter what’s supposed to be habitat. Aside from that issue, there is also a chance that the dam might break, mainly if it is constructed poorly. The waste and other chemicals used on its maintenance can affect the environment as well.

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Despite the engineering challenges, using hydropower is enormously helpful in today’s era. It is not only beneficial to the comprehensive coverage of industrial needs but also supports less environmental degradation as well. That’s because hydropower comes from an available 70% of the total energy of the world’s natural resources.

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