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The Importance of Hydropower Plants in the 19th Century

During the 19th century, the most reliable, inexpensive, safest, clean source of energy service & power has developed i.e. Hydropower, and the main important source (oldest and cheapest) of hydropower plant for energy production is ‘water’. It is the cleanest, abundant and most renewable source, although hydroelectric power from the source of water for energy production (such as electricity, etc) is important for many countries. According to data, the energy production from the hydropower plant up to 96% of electricity production in Norway, Brazil, it accounts 63.4% and Canada 59.35, and more in Venezuela 70%. (Kuriqi et al.,2021) Therefore, in the different parts of the world the researcher increase works of modernization for energy production, and the higher percentage of energy production (hydroelectricity production) power is taking place in emerging countries, such as India, Brazil, and china. The hydropower is a dispatchable (or controllable) renewable energy source. Basically, it depends on the water run-off and precipitation because of variable over longer time scales. Furthermore, the main factor which affecting the potential of hydropower plant for the energy production is weather or climate change at a regional level. (Silvério et al.,2018)

The man principle of hydropower plant which it works, “to convert the gravitational or potential energy of water into the mechanical form of energy first than convert it into the electrical energy”, the flowing of water turns into a turbine, that directly  connected to a generator. Then, the electricity will be generate and it will flow to the different substations, after that the power of voltage will be increase, further it will be fed into the power grid and distribute to the end users. (Rinaldi et al.,2018) 

Main components of hydropower plants

Figure 1 Main components of hydropower plants

It is totally based on the water cycle, that’s a constant recharging system, and endless. There are following main component or basic elements of conventional hydropower plants are:

  • Gates (or barriers)
  • Penstocks
  • Inlet valve
  • Turbine
  • Surge tank
  • Generator( or motor)
  • Automations, control’s and protection’s
  • Medium voltage switchgears
  • Power transformers
  • High voltage switchgears
  • Transmission lines powerhouse

Generally, it is classified on the basis of types of flow an in term of operations, according to the classification of hydropower plants it will divide into two main types:

  • Hybrid hydropower plants
  • Storage power plants
  • Pumped-storage power plants
  • Run-of-river power plants

Furthermore, the hydropower plants can also be classify on the basis of size, which varying spans and consistently from a few kilowatts to the several giawatts, and this classify led to the distinction between small hydro, mini hydro, and large hydro (Ceseña et al., 2019).

Storage Power Plants

In this type of hydropower plants, from reservoir water is released to produce or generate the electricity because it is based on impounding water behind a dam, without  the diversion of water at the dam toe the generating of power stations will be locate directly, or will further downstream with diversion of water from the river. The advantage of this hydropower plant is, it’ not depending on the natural water flows, although during the wet season they will be operate independently of the hydrological inflow by storing the water, and will further by using this into the dry season. It means the storage power plants stores the potential energy easier and will be convert into electrical energy in a flexible way. As shown in below figure, the main elements of storage power plants starting from reservoir feed eventually by diversion tunnels from neighbouring catchment, arch dam, surge tank, pressure tunnels, pressure shafts, powerhouses, switchyards, tailrace channels. (Pérez-Díaz et al.,2018) 2

The Principle of Hydropower Plants

Storage hydropower plants

Figure 2 Storage hydropower plants

Hybrid Hydropower Plants

It works or operates with one or more different-different type of generation, which as integrate unit and may occupy or consisting of a site, the hybrid hydropower plants can be grid connected or off grid  in remote areas, where they will be represent the main source of power. In this hydropower plants, the wind or solar power can be combined with hydropower and will increase reliability and stability of electricity generation. As shown in below figure, the hybrid hydropower plant combining seawater pumped storage, solar or wind power generation with a desalination plant (Shin et al., 2020). 

Hybrid hydropower plants

Figure 3 Hybrid hydropower plants

We know that, it the best and oldest way to generate electricity from hydropower, so according to research and analyses the data, for hydropower plants to generating the megawatt electricity so it will be needed 0.275 acres land. In general, it’s very tough to generalise the real or physical size of hydropower systems, because the head (low-head and high-head) have differences, they both need to space (size of land) for the hydro system. As shown in below table, we can see that the low-head power sites need more space as compared to high head hydropower sites such maximum power output, intake channel area, turbine house footprint, penstock pipe diameter, etc (Shoemaker et al., 2018).

The table which is shown below, it indicates dimension for the main system parts, also it provides the data and general idea to us such as turbine house size, dia. of pipes and cross-sectional area of channels and intake screens. As an example, in this case we assumed low-head has net head of 3.5 m and ‘high-head’ 70 m.

Table: Size of Hydropower Systems


Low-head hydropower sites

High-head hydropower sites

Maximum Power output

Turbine house footprint (m2)

Intake channel area (m2)

Intake screen area (m2)

Turbine house footprint (m2)

Penstock pipe diameter (m)

5 KW






25 KW






50 KW






100 KW






250 KW






The aim of this project to design and implementation of an hydroelectric power plant to generate electric energy i.e. wellington dam hydro power station. This hydro power station will help more specifically, firstly, to installing the renewable energy generation (capacity up to 9.2 MW), secondly, in the rural areas it will increase the rate of access to electricity, and last by using small thermal generators by replacing energy generation which will be reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Welte et al., 2018).

The capital of New Zealand and one of the third largest city, wellington, which sites at southernmost points on the Cook Strait and near the north island, it encompasses a waterfront promenade. This region has and subdivided into number of nine towns, although most people live in the south western corner.

which sites at southernmost points on the Cook Strait and near the north island, it encompasses a waterfront promenade

This project of implementation of hydroelectric power station is defined as follows:

  • To provide power supply (low cost electricity and durability over time) more than thousand of households including both rural and urban areas in most of the southernmost region.
  • To provide benefit which beyond electricity generation by providing clean drinking water, flood control, and irrigation support.
  • To take further and sufficient precaution which directly impact on the environment will be minimal.

For implementing the hydropower station, so we need project management team that will manage the different aspects of project at different-different stages, such as follows:

  • Conceptualization’s of Scheme
  • By setting up of gauge discharge site
  • Geographical investigation & Geological surveys of project area
  • Topographical, load assessment, and power evacuation
  • Confirmation of land (including detailed survey) on ground
  • Preparation & identification of an land acquisition case
  • DPR (detailed project report) and approval of DPR from electricity board
  • Financial closure
  • Design and detailed engineering for the project
  • Construction and commissioning
  • Tender document for civil works and E&M works

Moreover, the central project management unit (PMU) will be manage, evaluate, and monitor the overall project. The main activities will be comprised as:

  • In the exiting dams to installing the turbines
  • For supplying the power to southernmost region, will construct low and medium voltage distribution networks
  • Acquiring prepayment meters ( single phase and three phase)
  • Street lighting

To implementation of hydroelectric power plant has number of following benefits are:

  • Renewable & clean source
  • Economic source of energy
  • Eco-friendly
  • Reliable
  • Flexible
  • Safe

The cost of hydroelectric power plant to generate electricity has been different measures of cost selected are:

  • Total installing cost of project
  • Equipment cost
  • LCOE ( levelised cost of electricity) 

Types of Hydropower Plants

levelised cost of electricity

The cost of hydroelectric power plant to generate electricity

Table 2: typical installed cost and LCOE of hydroelectric power project


Install costs


Operation & maintenance cost (% year of installing cost)

Capacity factor (in %)


Large hydro





Small hydro









Materials management is an integrated mechanism in which individuals, organizations, technologies and techniques are used during the life cycle of a capital project to successfully locate measure, procure, accelerate, evaluate, transport, receive, store and maintain materials and facilities. Initial project preparation should provide a global demand analysis that not only identifies the least expensive suppliers of verifiable quality equipment and supplies, but also takes a more in-depth look at the costs and complexities of global logistics than is customary in the initial planning stages.

There are following number of points to problems are caused when implement hydropower plant are:

  • It has an Environmental impact
  • It displaces people
  • There are droughts
  • It’s not always safe
  • There are limited reservoirs
  • Deteriorating water quality
  • Sedimentation 


By acknowledge and analyze above data, hydropower plants are vital energy source to the world, and the hydroelectric power plants are the most efficient ways to produce and store energy generation i.e. ‘electricity’, and the efficiency of producing electricity generation is about 85-90 %. And, the most benefit or advantage of this hydropower plant is, it uses renewable source of energy which is easily available, clean source and inexpensive also, very economical and safe. Although, we analyse some demerits of this hydroelectric power plant is, environmental consequences, drought potential, limited reservoirs. In my concern, to make a better and efficient hydropower plants so, we will reduce the methane emission because, nowadays, it is the major concern of hydropower plants. Furthermore, it will lead to the development of roads, etc, and will create many economic opportunity to the local peoples who lived near southernmost region. Also, the environmental and social impact have been show above, which means the implemented project has few limited negative impacts, even many important positive impacts on the socio-cultural and socio-economic environments during the construction of power transmission lines. The project of hydroelectric power plant will be deemed acceptable from the social and environmental standpoint.


Ceseña, E. M., Panteli, M., Mutale, J., Mancarella, P., Tomlinson, J., & Harou, J. J. (2019, June). Integrated energy-water model for interdependent storage, run-of-river and pump hydropower. In 2019 IEEE Milan PowerTech (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

Kuriqi, A., Pinheiro, A. N., Sordo-Ward, A., Bejarano, M. D., & Garrote, L. (2021). Ecological impacts of run-of-river hydropower plants—Current status and future prospects on the brink of energy transition. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 110833.

Pérez-Díaz, J. I., Chazarra, M., García-González, J., Cavazzini, G., & Stoppato, A. (2018). Trends and challenges in the operation of pumped-storage hydropower plants. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 44, 767-784.

Rinaldi, G., Cucuzzella, M., & Ferrara, A. (2018). Sliding mode observers for a network of thermal and hydroelectric power plants. Automatica, 98, 51-57.

Shin, H., & Hur, J. (2020). Optimal energy storage sizing with battery augmentation for renewable-plus-storage power plants. IEEE Access, 8, 187730-187743.

Shoemaker, B., & Robichaud, W. (Eds.). (2018). Dead in the water: Global lessons from the World Bank's model hydropower project in Laos. University of Wisconsin Pres.

Silvério, N. M., Barros, R. M., Tiago Filho, G. L., Redón-Santafé, M., dos Santos, I. F. S., & de Mello Valerio, V. E. (2018). Use of floating PV plants for coordinated operation with hydropower plants: Case study of the hydroelectric plants of the São Francisco River basin. Energy Conversion and Management, 171, 339-349.

Welte, T. M., Foros, J., Nielsen, M. H., & Adsten, M. (2018). MonitorX–Experience from a Norwegian-Swedish research project on industry 4.0 and digitalization applied to fault detection and maintenance of hydropower plants. Hydro 2018-Progress through partnership, Gdansk, Poland, 15-17 October 2018.

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