09 Mar What is Hydropower Engineering
Hydropower engineering is a field of engineering that comprises a multitude of different skills and subjects. Primarily, hydropower engineering is concerned with developing systems that convert the energy of flowing water into electricity. Doing this requires a variety of people with different skills and specializations.
What Is Hydropower Engineering?
In essence, hydropower engineering is a field of engineering that has to do with harnessing the energy of flowing water, and turning that energy into electricity – or, alternatively, using that water to power machinery. As a field of engineering, though, it is comprehensive, and it consists of many different facets, all of which are united around the goal of properly utilizing the energy that flowing water produces.
When water is in motion, it creates a form of energy known as “kinetic energy”. Kinetic energy is a type of energy that comes from motion, and it can be harnessed from a variety of different sources – walking, dancing, running; to name just three examples.
Unlike those forms of kinetic energy, flowing water is far more plentiful, and quite a bit easier to utilize. Water is a renewable resource, and through hydropower engineering, systems of harnessing the kinetic energy of water, when it’s in motion, can be developed and used.
Traditionally, hydropower engineering is used to build hydroelectric power plants. Although, there are other kinds of hydroelectric systems that can be built.
Hydroelectric power plants are large power plants that consist of several different mechanisms, all of which aid in converting the kinetic energy of flowing water into electricity. Most hydroelectric power plants consist of dams, and the water in these dams serves as a driver for a water turbine. The water turbine converts the kinetic energy of water into electricity, and then this electricity is stored in a large generator that is located within the hydroelectric power plant.
- Hydropower engineering is a field of engineering that has to do with engineering mechanisms that allow for the energy of flowing water to be harnessed
- When water is in motion, it creates kinetic energy, which can be turned into electricity
- Hydropower engineering is, traditionally, used to build hydroelectric power plants
- Hydroelectric power plants are power plants that consist of dams that power water turbines, which create electricity and then store that electricity within a generator
What Comprises Hydropower Engineering?
Hydropower engineering is a comprehensive field of engineering, that consists of various skill sets.
People who work in the field of hydropower engineering generally have one particular specialty – geology, for example – that allows them to understand their role in a hydropower project, while also being able to understand the overall project.
To be a hydropower engineer is to have an in-depth understanding of one particular specialty or skill, while also being able to understand and comprehend the entirety of the hydropower engineering project that they’re working on.
Many hydropower engineering projects are quite large, in terms of scope and scale, and as such, they require large teams of people. On a hydropower engineering team, there are people with all kinds of skills and abilities, who are each able to fulfill a particular role. There are geologists, hydrologists, dam engineers, surge shaft engineers, electricians; along with plenty of others who serve different functions, with regards to the overall project.
Understanding how Hydroelectric Power Works
Geologists understand the earth, and this allows them to investigate where a hydroelectric power system is going to be set, whether that area is right for that project, as well as the potential risks and disadvantages of setting up a hydropower engineering project in that area. Without the specialized knowledge of a geologist, it would be far more difficult for a hydropower engineering project to be set up in a stable area where the terrain is ideal.
Hydrologists understand water and how water interacts with the earth. When working on a hydropower engineering project, hydrologists are able to determine whether or not the system that’s being designed is viable, given the water source that is being utilized. This knowledge also allows them to understand how a hydroelectric power system can properly utilize a particular water source.
Dam engineers are responsible for engineering dams, and surge shaft engineers are responsible for engineering surge shafts. Without a dam, hydroelectric power systems are unable to hold and direct the water that they’re utilizing. And, without a surge shaft, the pressure of the water can become unstable.
On any hydroelectric project, it’s a general rule that there will be at least a few electricians. Electricians have an in-depth understanding of electricity, and it’s this understanding that allows them to design generators and electrical systems that store all of the energy that is being generated by the water.
There are, of course, other skills that comprise the field of hydropower engineering. But, the skills listed are very important, and without people who can fill those roles, a hydropower engineering project is unable to turn into a reality.
If you would like to construct a hydropower system and need people who can get the job done to your specifications, Gracon offers hydropower construction services.
- This is a comprehensive field of engineering that entails a variety of subjects and skills
- To be a hydropower engineer is to have one particular specialty and an understanding of how that specialty affects the whole of these types of projects
- Some of the most important people on a hydropower engineering project are the geologists, hydrologist, dam engineers, surge shaft engineers, and electricians
What Is Hydropower Engineering Used For?
Traditionally this technology is used to build hydroelectric power systems.
Many of these systems are hydroelectric power plants, but there are other hydroelectric power systems that are much smaller, and designed for different power-related purposes.
As a field of engineering, hydropower engineering is used to develop hydroelectric power systems. Many of these systems are traditional hydroelectric power plants, which rely on a dam, turbine, and generator. But, there are also micro hydropower systems, which are small hydropower systems that harness the kinetic energy of a river, lake, or even a small stream.
So what is hydropower engineering and what is its function? While the main goal is to harness the kinetic energy of flowing water, hydroelectric power plants are capable of doing more than just that. They also aid in irrigating the land that surrounds the plant and controlling floods.
- Hydropower engineering is used to build hydroelectric power systems – both large and small
- Micro hydropower systems are much smaller hydroelectric power systems that rely on rivers, lakes and steams
- Not only do hydroelectric power systems harness the kinetic energy of water, but they also irrigate surrounding land and control floods.
- If you need to improve or repair your hydroelectric power system, Gracon is here for you.