Cogito

A Crash Course on Power Production at a Hydroelectric Plant

Posted in Uncategorized by qmarks on February 6, 2012

A simple formula for approximating electric power production at a hydroelectric plant is: P = ρhrgk, where

  • P is Power in watts,
  • ρ is the density of water (~1000 kg/m3),
  • h is height in meters,
  • r is flow rate in cubic meters per second,
  • g is acceleration due to gravity of 9.8 m/s2,
  • k is a coefficient of efficiency ranging from 0 to 1. Efficiency is often higher (that is, closer to 1) with larger and more modern turbines.

Annual electric energy production depends on the available water supply. In some installations the water flow rate can vary by a factor of 10:1 over the course of a year

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