Question: How does a dam work?
Answer: A dam holds back water so that only a small amount of water is allowed to flow, and that water has more force behind it because of the buildup of water, making it easier to harvest energy from that flow of water. Energy is collected by letting the moving water push on paddles in the water creating mechanical energy that can then be used to do anything from grinding grains, in the case of water powered grain mills, or generating electricity, in the case of hydroelectric power plants. The key to this energy source is the natural cycle of water evaporating from oceans and lakes into clouds where it collects and rains down onto land. Once on land the water moves down hill because of gravity and so we can collect energy from the down hill force of gravity that pushes the water above the dam down on the water in and below the dam.
Other questions related to hydroelectric energy:
- How does gravity hydropower work?
- How does a dam work?
- Will hydroelectric power save money?
- What kind of power output does hydroelectric power produce?
- What is the wasted energy for hydroelectric energy?
- What is an example of hydroelectric energy?
- What does a wicket gate do in a hydro dam?