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How Does Hydro And Wave Energy Work Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 1748 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Energy also known as electricity is an important source of energy use all around the world. Electricity Energy helps do a lot of work such as it gives people light. It warms our bodies and homes. It runs our TVs and our cars. It makes us grow and move and think. Energy is the power to change things. It is the ability to do work.

Light is a type of energy we use all the time. We use it so we can see. We get most of our light from the sun. At night people must make there our own light. Usually, we use electricity to make light.

In today’s world with the help of latest technology energy can be created by using heat from sun, power of wind and the force of falling water or wave. Currently government from all around the world are keen in investing a lot of money in these projects. The projects are met to be environmentally friendly, low in cost, easy to maintain and noise free.

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Hydro energy system provides energy that normally comes from water force and converts to electricity. Hydro energy can be created by using many ways. In most of the leading countries, the most reliable and cheap common method of generating energy from water are hydroelectric dams, where water comes down through an area that causes turbines to rotate and then energy can be captured to run a generator. Power can also be generated from the energy of tidal forces or wave power, which uses the energy created by waves.

1.2 Technology in different countries

Technological advances in the plants and in power transmission make it feasible to build hydroelectric plants in remote locations, far from where the power will be used. The Itaipu Dam on the Paraná River between Paraguay and Brazil can produce up to 12,600 megawatts of power. This plant, opened in 1982, supplies nearly all Paraguay’s electricity and one-quarter of that needed for Brazil. Tasik Kenyir (Lake Kenyir) Sultan Mahmud hydroelectric power station in Malaysia has a capacity of 400 megawatts of power. One of the largest hydroelectric projects in the world is China’s Three Gorges project on the Yangtze River. The dam, designed to control the devastating floods on the river, includes a large hydroelectric plant. With a capacity of 18,200 megawatts, Three Gorges is projected to be able to provide up to one-ninth of China’s electricity needs. China has also built many small hydroelectric plants for local use around the country.

1.3 Stage of development of Hydro Energy

Hydroelectric power grew rapidly after that. In 1886 there were 45 hydroelectric plants in the United States. By 1889, 200 plants were generating electricity by using water for some or all of the power.

At the same time, hydroelectric power plants opened around the world. Italy built its first hydroelectric plant in 1885 at Tivoli, in the mountains outside Rome. The plant initially powered lights in the nearby town. But by 1892 a second plant in the same location was providing power to Rome, the first long-distance power transmission in Italy.

Other countries with good conditions for hydroelectric power soon built plants. Canada, France, Japan, and Russia were among the first on board. During the period from 1900 to 1950 the use of hydroelectric power increased rapidly.

1.4 Economics and politics involved

Hydro energy systems have a big impact economically as the system provides energy to public where they are charged for the serviced. While this process go on capital usually comes in the market where every one gets a portion of the business or makes profit for there business. Politically the system can make a difference for example if there is a natural disaster the government will make a loss.

1.5 Cultural and decision making in different countries

Many countries in the world use hydro energy system to create electricity in a lower cost. Currently Canada comes up top of the list for high usage and the United States comes in second. One of the main reasons the following countries took the decision to use hydro energy system the most to produce electricity is because it’s a renewable energy, which means it will not be depleted over time and it will consistently be replenished. It is also a clean energy source.

1.6 Possible Problems when using Hydro Energy

One problem that can happen when using hydro energy is that it sometime can change the natural flow of the water which can make it possible to harm plants and animals in the water. It can also damage areas and wildlife, as when creating a hydro electric dam, areas should be flooded.

1.7 Profitable Hydro Energy system

Other reasons that many countries want to use hydro energy is that it is cheaper than using other methods to convert energy to electricity. It is also reliable and can be used almost immediately when turned on to meet the demand for electricity. Therefore, one must weigh the pros and cons before deciding to use hydro energy to supply their demand for electricity.

1.8 Application of Hydro Energy our Major

A hydro energy plant can absorbs the energy of falling water to generate electricity then a turbine can converts the energy of falling water into mechanical energy. Then a generator has to convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy. Hydro plants can be in different size from micro-hydro that power only very few homes.

A Dam can raise water level of a river to create falling water. Also the dam can control the flow of water. The reservoir that is created is will practically stored energy. The force of falling water should push against the turbine’s blades causing the turbine to turn in one direction. A water turbine is similar to a windmill, except that the energy is provided in different way, falling water instead of wind. The turbine should convert the kinetic energy of falling water into a mechanical energy. Generator that is connected to the turbine via shafts so when the turbine turns it makes the generator to rotate also convert the mechanical energy from the turbine into electric energy.

Wave Energy

2.1 Background of wave energy

Waves are naturally caused by the wind which blows over the sea level. In many part of the world, the wind blows with different force to provide waves that can be used to produce energy. There is high level energy and force in the ocean waves. Wave power can devices and extract energy directly from the surface ocean waves or from pressure fluctuations below the surface.

Wave can also be generated wave when earth quack takes place.

Wave power varies widely in different parts of the world, and wave energy can’t be usefull effectively everywhere. Wave-power can be found in different areas of the world include the western coasts of Scotland, northern Canada, southern Africa, Australia, and the north-western coasts of the United States.

2.2 Technology

In the current market technologies and design in wave Energy system has improved tremendously. The industrial wave power station/plant has to use a shoreline chamber, in which seawater comes and goes naturally. As the water come, the air in the chamber is pressurised and forced to go through a hole into the turbine, to make it turn. As the water recedes, the air is goes back, leaving the turbine turning. The turbine then can be connected via a shaft but the new technology is using belt to the generator where energy will be converted into electricity.

2.3 Impact on environment

In today’s world wave power is considered as environmentally friendly. Most complain usually come from local neighbours as it can be a bit noisy, landscape, or affect of roads leading to the sites. These complains are currently seen as disadvantage.

2.4 Political and Economical Impact

Wave energy has made a big impact economically and politically from years. Economically in a way when a project take place it brings capital together which means everyone small business, contracts labourers, shops and many get a portion of the business and earn them profit. Politically it can affect the government if the project does not work because of a natural disaster.

2.5 Application of wave energy

Kinetic energy naturally has to be in the wave that moves in the ocean. The energy can be used to power and run a turbine. Following the example in diagram 1 below wave should rise while reaching the chamber. The forces of the rising water actually have to push air out of the chamber. The moving air in red colour shown in the diagram spins the actual turbine which will manually turn the generator. After this process wave down, air flows through the turbine and back into the chamber through doors that are normally closed. Others system actually uses up and down motion of the wave to power piston that moves up and down inside the cylinder. That piston should be able to turn a generator.

Tidal Power – Wave Energy

Diagram 1

Comparison of different energy system

Hydro Energy

Hydroelectric power has other benefits as well. Dams and hydroelectric plants last a long time. This means that once the costs of building are paid off, a hydroelectric plant becomes a relatively inexpensive source of electricity.

Wave Energy

Wave energy system is as good as hydro energy. Advantages are it does not disturb public in case there of noise. Disadvantages are it can cause damages in case there are sea storm and also mite be difficult for engineers to do any maintenance.

Wind Energy

Wind Energy system work nearly the same way wave energy works. Before engineers used to place big turbines in land but now technology has improved same system can be build on sea and works as good as any other system.


Following the discussion between different kind of energy systems. Energy is a very important factor in today’s world. As technology level is rising better energy system is been design and tested. Currently a new energy system has been tested which works under water. The turbine system is fixed on the ground to protect against vibration. The turbine system rotates with the help of sea water pressure. Engineers and government of all the leading countries are investing more energy system because they are pollution free and do not need any expensive fuel.


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