Unit 3: Hydroelectric Power

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  • Hydroelectric Power
    • Advantages
      • Readily available - water can be stored in reservoirs
      • Higher energy density
      • No pollution after manufacture
      • Reservoir creates new habitats and can be used recreationally
    • Disadvantages
      • Visual and ecological impacts
      • Expensive to repair
      • Construction expensive - takes many years to make profitable
      • Nearby land flooded - habitats and infrastructure
      • Disrupts fish migration
      • Changes in flow fluctuations downstream
      • Dead organic matter decays - release CO2
      • Suspended solids sinking reduce water turbidity and increase light levels
    • Location
      • Steep slopes - fast flowing streams
      • No land use conflicts
      • Close to consumers or energy grid
      • Large water volume
      • Impermeable rock under reservoir
    • High Head Scheme
      • Low volume of water
      • Water falls long way down hill
      • Passes through a turbine
    • Low Head Scheme
      • High volume of water
      • Dam built on large river
      • Smaller head of water
    • Run of River Scheme
      • Turbine on a river without a dam
      • Little/no water storage


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