Hydroelectric power plant- Definition, Working Diagram, Advantages and Diasadvantages, Application, PDF

Are you looking for the Hydroelectric power plant? So today we will study the Definition, Working principle, Diagram,  Advantages and Disadvantages, Application of Hydroelectric power plant. Here you will get the articles of Mechanical Engineering in brief with some key points and you will get to know an enormous amount of knowledge from It. So If you find this articles helpful, please let us know in the comment box, either if any correction required too, also let us know in the comment box.

Hydroelectric Power Plant:

Working Diagram of Hydroelectric power plant :

In 2012, hydroelectric power plants contributed about 16% of the total electricity generation in the world. 

Hydroelectricity is the most widely used form of renewable energy. It is a flexible source of electricity and also the cost of electricity generation is relatively low. 

Hydroelectric power plant

The hydroelectric power plant consists of the mainly 6 parts:

Dam and Reservoir: 

When we hearing the word Dam that means sufficient water storage at some height (Because when the water from some height release so the velocity increase and which is further used for the generation of electricity with the use of turbine). The dam forms a large reservoir behind it. The height of water level (called as water head) in the reservoir determines how much of potential energy is stored in it.

Control Gate: 

Now the control gate working, In simple word, this is like controlling the flow of water (first Water from the reservoir is allowed to flow through the penstock and to the turbine). The amount of water which is to be released in the penstock can be controlled by a control gate. 

When the control gate is fully opened, the maximum amount of water is released through the penstock.


The potential energy of the water is converted into kinetic energy as it flows down through the penstock due to gravity.

Water Turbine or Hydraulic Turbine: 

The flow of Water from the penstock is taken into the water turbine. The turbine is mechanically coupled to an electric generator. The kinetic energy of the water drives the turbine and consequently, the generator gets driven.


A generator is mounted in the powerhouse and it is mechanically coupled to the turbine shaft and When the turbine blades are rotated, it drives the generator, The electricity is generated which is then stepped up with the help of a transformer for the transmission purpose.

Surge Tank:

The Surge tanks are usually provided in high or medium head power plants when considerably long penstock is required.

A surge tank is a small reservoir or tank which is open at the top. It is fitted between the reservoir and the powerhouse.

The water level in the surge tank rises or falls to reduce the pressure swings in the penstock.

In Brief,

As the above diagram shown is the layout of Hydroelectric power plant. A large amount of water available in the reservoir before the dam. In the dam there is fitted penstock which works is to flow of water to the turbine and at the tailrace, there is turbine situated when water strikes to the turbine blade it starts rotating therefor hydraulic energy is converted into the mechanical energy and then use of generator the mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy.

By animation well explained about the Hydroelectric power plant:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydroelectric power plant:


  • This power plant is a renewable energy source. The water energy can be used again and again.
  • This is having high efficiency.
  • The running cost of the Hydraulic turbine is less as compared to other turbines.
  • The environmental pollution system is negligible here.
  • The main advantages of the Hydraulic turbine are that at the turbine place, the people can visit and come across all the main parts in details. This is like an open system.


  • This power plant Installation or Initial cost is very high.
  • This plant takes several decades to produces the profit.
  • The main disadvantages are that It can develop at only a few sites or place where the good amount of water is available. 

Application of Hydroelectric power plant:

This is most widely used form of renewable sources of energy according to survey the 16 percent global electricity consumption. The obviously large amount of electricity has been produced by this Hydroelectric power plant with the use of Hydraulic turbine.

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