Hydroelectric Power : The Resource That Keeps On Giving

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Water: The Resource That Keeps On Giving Hydroelectric power is one of the oldest alternative energy sources that is still as important today as it was in the past. Since biblical times, people around the world have been using flowing rivers to power a simple machine known as a mill. When the water mill turns from the power of the rushing water, it turns kinetic energy into mechanical movement that can complete a job. In the past, that job has been grinding grains, chopping lumbar, and pounding paper (Dursun & Gokcol, 2011). Today, the harnessed power from flowing water is used to provide humans with one of our most important resources: energy (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2015). This paper will explore many aspects of hydroelectric power. Topics that will be discussed include how hydroelectric power works, advantages and disadvantages, how it is currently being used, and plans for using hydroelectric power in the future. There are two different processes for creating electricity from hydroelectric power: conventional and pumped storage. The only difference between the two is size, and what happens to the water after it passes through the turbine. In both cases, when the water builds up behind a dam, the potential energy is increasing. The potential energy changes into mechanical energy when the water is released and rushes down toward the turbine (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2015). Once the turbine blades are hit by the water, they spin electromagnets. The

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