Hydroelectric power is known as one of the largest sources of renewable energy. About 6.3 percent of all electricity in the United States over the past decade comes from hydropower, according to figures released by energy agencies.
After gaining experience in the use of renewable energy sources, it has been proven that there are still significant opportunities for the development of hydropower resources, even through inactive dams, water transmission systems, and the development of new sites.
By identifying key areas, the opportunity to generate electricity from water increased. One of the emerging technologies in hydroelectric supply is the use of pumped water energy.
The energy of the pumped water is considered as a source of energy storage and acts as a backup for the electricity network like a battery.
By using these water resources, in addition to supporting the hydroelectric industry, local businesses can also be boosted economically.
This article examines the types of development in the hydropower industry:
- Low head hydropower plant
- Materials and structures
- Hydroelectric systems
- Development of hydropower technology
- Pumped storage hydropower
Low head hydropower plant:
With the development of technology, one of the opportunities that have been created for the use of hydropower energy; Use of water sources with low height (from 2 to 20 meters). These water resources include dams, canals, and waterways. According to research conducted in the Water Power program and the installation of related infrastructure on low-rise dams, this technology is very efficient and economical.
Materials and structures:
The Water Power program is researching the identification and testing of new materials and manufacturing techniques to improve performance and reduce hydropower costs. This research focuses on materials or coatings that reduce the life cycle costs of turbines, traction pipes, and water valves. Research is also underway to identify ways to improve generator efficiency and reliability.
The Water Power program conducts studies to develop and test new technologies that reduce operating and maintenance costs. By increasing the reliability of hydroelectric systems, the quality and functional characteristics of the environment, as well as the benefits of using the energy produced, can be improved.
The development of hydroelectric systems includes optimization of water consumption, use of advanced materials, and various methods of production and evaluation of hydroelectric network services. Hydroelectric network services show signs and data of failure, by expanding which information can be updated to prevent reduced production and availability of facilities.
Development of hydropower technology:
In this program, new opportunities have been created in some projects to reduce costs, optimize water use and upgrade hydropower facilities.
Pumped storage hydropower:
The plant receives and stores energy from other energy sources and supplies it at times when electricity demand is higher. One of the weaknesses of this power plant is the height required for its construction, which in the Water Power program, to solve this problem and build this power plant in the required places, developments have been made.
Renewable energy source and its development
The development of hydropower technologies will lead to an increase in hydroelectric energy services and thus improve hydropower operations and planning.
The use of this renewable resource can be applied in the field of environment and natural resources in addition to timely supply of energy and increase of electricity generation capacity.