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Frequently Asked Questions - Hydropower

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The latest Chapter of our Frequently Asked Question Series is based on the most efficient means of generating electricity – Hydropower! While more commonly known for sizable power production (The Hoover Dam for example), the new release of the Waterlily Turbine proves this form of power production can be used effectively on a smaller scale, for off-grid power production. Today we will answer a handful of the most common questions we receive pertaining to water-based power production.

What are the Major Pros and Cons of Using Hydro Power?

The major benefit of utilizing water as a power source is quite apparent. Being a renewable/clean means of producing electricity is a fantastic advantage. Its ability to meet peak demand makes it an obvious choice above Solar and Wind, which rely heavily on external factors.

The two largest cons we often see are up front expenses and negative environmental impacts. Altering the natural movement of streams and rivers can have an adverse effect on the animal migration paths and can create issues with water quality if not set up properly. However, these concerns are not a factor when implementing small scale hydro power generation.

How Does Hydropower Work?

While there are many different configurations of Hydropower systems, the cornerstone of each remains the same. Water flows through a turbine, creating the movement of blades. The turbine then converts the kinetic energy produced by the water's current into mechanical energy. From that point, a generator then converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy.

What Country is the Largest User of Water Based Power Production?

China is currently the world’s largest user of Hydropower and leads the planet in new installed capacity as well. As of the 2019 Hydropower Status Report, Brazil has now overtaken the United States as the second largest producer of hydroelectricity by installed capacity.

How Expensive is Hydropower as an Energy Source?

Hydropower is actually one of the most affordable energy sources. States that rely heavily on water-based power production (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho for example) have energy bills that are historically lower than the rest of the country.

With Solar and Wind Power being so prominent, who still uses Hydropower as a Power Source?

Great Question! All 50 North American States utilize hydropower for electricity. In Washington state for example, hydroelectric power accounts for approximately two-thirds of the total electricity produced!

How efficient is Hydropower when compared to other Renewable and Nonrenewable power production methods?

The majority of Hydropower turbines are up to 90% efficient! That is approximately 50% more efficient than Wind Turbine farms and even the highest quality fossil fuel plants!

We would like to thank all of our customers for their great questions! We hope our readers found this information educational and noteworthy. As always, we are just a phone call away (877-548-3387) and are happy to offer our expertise on all of your Power Production needs!
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