Environmental Science/Hydroeletricity

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Question
Dear David L. Russell,

We are students from American International School of Guangzhou (AISG). We are currently working on a science research project regarding upon ecology and specifically water. It would be nice if you could tell us more about hydropower and how water is a good way to replace fossil fuels. We were thinking of a solution to create a device to replace dams. We need to have more information in order to support our overall project. It would be our honor to hear from you. We look forward to hearing more from you.

Thank you.
Kind Regards, Gaurav & Jenice

Answer
The answer is a bit long, and you will have to do some research but here's an introduction to the subject.
1 Hydropower is generated by a turbine turning a generator.
2 The power is generated by the effect of water falling on to the turbine wheel which spins the generator.
3. The amount of power available is directly proportional to the quantity of water and the elevation of the water with respect to the turbine.
4. You will need a lot of water in a dam or reservoir in order to have a profitable electrical generation station. The generator must be able to produce electricity in wet and dry weather, winter and summer and even during drought conditions.
5. Below about 1.5 meters of differential between the water reservoir and the turbine, you won't get much power unless your water supply is very very big.
6. In order to generate 1 horsepower, you have to be able to have an energy output of 0.76 kilowatts. The formula for power is Power = density * velocity, where velocity is given by the formula V = Square Root of (2* 9.81 * head differential in meters) or V= Sq.rt (2GH) where G is the acceleration due to gravity.
That's a start, and try calculating the amount of water required when you have a 10 meter lift between the turbine wheel and the water surface, and a stream of water which is 0.5 cubic meters per second.
Good luck
Write me back with your answers, and I'll tell you if you are correct.

Environmental Science

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David L. Russell, PE

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I`m a Chemical,Civil and Environmental Engineer and have a number of projects in all phases of the environment. I have worked in the chemical industry and am active in professional societies, and am currently on an industrial wastes committee for the Water Environment Federation, and have taught courses in remediation in the US and abroad. I have written one book on Remediation of petroleum Contaminated Sites, and have a second book on PRACTICAL WASTEWATER TREATMENT to be published by John Wiley in September, 2006. I've also written over 30 articles on various elements of environmental problems and cleanup. Most Recently, I have addressed a NATO Scientific and Techical Conference on Ecoterrorism, and have worked with the same group on remediation of sites contaminated with Chemical Warfare Agent materials and othe materials as well. . I can answer q`s about Chemical and Environmental Engineering, land development, air pollution, water pollution, soil and water cleanup, combustion, international environmental problems, industrial processes chemical processes. Civil and Environmental and Chemical Engineering. Overall, I have over 35 years of experience in this area. Note: I do not answer homework questions

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I love work in the third world and developing areas because it is challenging and one can get a sense of accomplishment.

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