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Renewable Energy Sources: Water Power or Hydropower

written by: Haresh Khemani•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 9/12/2008

Power from water is renewable source of energy since it can be obtained from rivers and oceans what can last for the long times to come. Hydropower includes hydro power plants or hydroelectric energy, wave energy, tidal energy, ocean energy etc.

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    What is Waterpower or Hydropower

    One of the most widely used renewable source of energy for generating electricity on large scale basis is hydropower, hydraulic power or water power. The power obtained from river or ocean water is called as waterpower or hydropower. Waterpower is being used for various applications since thousands of years. Earlier water was used for the irrigation of the farms and operating various machines like watermills, textile machines and saw mills. Now it is being used extensively for generation of electricity. Waterpower or hydropower is the renewable source of energy since water is available in large quantities from rain, rivers, and oceans and this is will be available for unlimited time to come.

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    Various Types of Waterpower or Hydropower

    Power can be obtained from water in various forms using different types of machines and installing plants. Some of the setups can generate small amount of power like tidal power plants, while the other setups like dams can generate large amount of power.

    Here various types and form of hydropower or water power:

    1) Water wheels: The water wheels are not used to generate electricity; rather they are directly used to run the machines and small power mills.

    2) Hydro power plants: The hydro power plants also called as dams are used to generate electricity on large scale basis. Dams are constructed across the path of the river and its water is used to rotate the turbines which generate electricity. This is the ideal method of generating power since no fuel is required in hydro power plants. The electricity generated in hydro power plants is also called as hydroelectricity.

    3) Wave energy from oceans: There are lots of waves in the oceans which can be utilized to rotate the turbines and generate electricity.

    4) Tidal energy: The large quantities of water during high tides can be trapped in the reservoirs and used to generate electricity.

    5) Damless hydro power: The kinetic energy within the rivers, streams and oceans can be used to generate electricity even without installing the huge setup of the dams.

    6) Vortex power: the vortex motions generated within the oceans due to tidal waves can be used to generate power in the turbines called as vortex turbines.