How do hydroelectric power plants work?

Have you ever wondered how it is possible to efficiently store energy and use it when it is most needed? We live in a world with enormous energy demand, especially electricity. Accordingly, we find the hydroelectric power released with the help of pumps, do you know what it is?

Hydropower plays an important role in electrical systems. This is thanks to its ability to adapt flexibly by regulating the water flow in turbines.

This feature minimizes dependence on coal and nuclear energy sources; It meets the demand in times of increase or decrease in the amount of electricity. So how can hydroelectric power be produced using pumps?

What is hydroelectricity?

It is a storage system that uses the gravitational potential energy of water to generate electricity. It is a very efficient method for saving and producing electricity.

In turn, it is based on the following features:

  • Its plant has two reservoirs located at different heights.
  • The action of storing water is facilitated during periods of lower demand.
  • There is a subsequent use to generate energy during the hours of greatest consumption; so that the electricity demand can be met.
  • Although this process consumes electricity, the storage of water in the form of potential energy at a high altitude is achieved.

How do hydroelectric power plants work?

During the hours of lower electricity demand (off-peak hours), which generally occur at night and on weekends, the excess of low-cost energy that thermoelectric plants produce above market needs is used.

  1. Excess power drives a motor located in the engine room.
  2. When a pump is activated, the water from the lower reservoir rises to the upper reservoir through pipes.
  3. The water can be elevated by means of a motorized pump group or by means of the turbines of the plant. They could be reversible and work like motors driven by the alternators.
  4. Upon completion of the pumping operation, the water stored in the upper reservoir is ready to restart the production cycle.

What is hydroelectric power generation used for?

This technology is not new and has been improved over time. It represents a large-scale storage solution for power grids. Likewise, it has been widely tested and used for many decades.

Pumped hydroelectric power provides other aspects of great importance such as:

  • The stabilization of electrical networks by balancing supply and demand fluctuations.
  • Intermittent renewable energy sources can be integrated by storing excess energy and releasing it when needed.
  • It is a mature technology, proven over several decades, with direct applications in suitable places.
  • The capacity for lower production prices in the electricity market confirms its promising future.
  • It has been shown that they can reduce the prices of electricity production.
  • They facilitate a greater incorporation of renewable energy sources and, of course, favor environmental sustainability.