3 Examples of Hydro Energy Explained

Examples of hydro energy are; potential energy in water masses, hydroelectric turbine-mobilization, and natural wave propagation.

This article discusses the examples of hydro energy, as follows;





1). Potential Energy in Water Masses (as one of the Examples of Hydro Energy)

Hydro energy originally occurs in potential form. This can be referred to as the potential energy of water.

The potential energy of water is simply the energy contained in a stationary mass of water; which is derived by multiplying density, area, center of mass, height of water surface above the ground, and acceleration due to gravity of the water mass.


Hydropower potential is calculated as follows;


P.E of water (Joules) = ρAhgh2



ρ = density

A= area

h= center of mass

h2= height above ground



As shown in the formula above, potential energy of water increases with the height of the water surface above ground (or above sea level). This is why water increases in energy when its height of fall is increased [1].

Potential energy in stationary water masses show that water can be viewed as an energy storage system, like a battery.

As earlier stated, this is the primary form of hydro energy, and can be converted to other forms when water loses its stationary position and is set in motion.




2). Hydroelectric Turbine Mobilization

Hydroelectric turbine-mobilization is arguably the most practical and common example of hydro energy, especially with regards to its utilization. It is also the mechanism by which hydroelectricity is generated.

The turbine in a hydroelectric power plant is moved or mobilized when it comes in contact with flowing water [3]. This signifies the conversion of hydro energy from kinetic to mechanical form.

The mechanical energy produced from this conversion is observed as rotary motion of the turbine; which can be transferred effectively to a generator for electricity generation.

Examples of Hydro Energy: Hydroelectric Turbine Mobilization (Credit: RAY JONES 2009 .CC BY-SA 2.0.)
Examples of Hydro Energy: Hydroelectric Turbine Mobilization (Credit: RAY JONES 2009 .CC BY-SA 2.0.)




3). Natural Wave Propagation (as one of the Examples of Hydro Energy)

Natural wave propagation refers to the process whereby potential hydro energy is converted to its kinetic form in large water bodies like oceans, without any human intervention, but rather by the action of natural forces like wind and gravity [2].

Hydro wave energy is hydro energy that has been converted to kinetic energy by natural factors, leading to the formation and propagation of water masses in successive crests and troughs.

Other renewable energy resources like solar and wind play a role in the propagation of waves, which is itself classified as a distinct type of renewable energy; namely wave energy.

Hydro wave energy can also be used to generate electricity, by means of a wave energy converter that is designed to capture and convert ocean waves.

Examples of Hydro Energy: Natural Wave Propagation (Credit: Matthew Kane 2016 .CC0 1.0.)
Examples of Hydro Energy: Natural Wave Propagation (Credit: Matthew Kane 2016 .CC0 1.0.)






Examples of hydro energy are;

1. Potential Energy in Water Masses

2. Hydroelectric Turbine Mobilization

3. Natural Wave Propagation





1). Ajibola, O. O. E.; Ajala, O.; Akanmu, J. O.; Balogun, O. (2018). "Improvement of hydroelectric power generation using pumped storage system." Nigerian Journal of Technology 37(1):191. Available at: https://doi.org/10.4314/njt.v37i1.25. (Accessed 15 January 2023).

2). Irhas; Suryaningsih, R. (2014). "Study on Wave Energy into Electricity in the South Coast of Yogyakarta, Indonesia." Energy Procedia 47:149–155. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.egypro.2014.01.208. (Accessed 15 January 2023).

3). Okhueleigbe, E.; Ofualagba, G. (2017). "Mini-Hydro Turbine: Solution to Power Challenges in an Emerging Society with Abundance of Water." American Journal of Engineering and Technology Management 2(2 2):7-12. Available at: https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ajetm.20170202.11. (Accessed 15 January 2023).

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