Hydroelectric Power Plants

Q. On what factors does the power output of a hydropower plant depend?

Ans. The power developed by a hydro plant depends upon the discharge and head and is directly proportional to their (discharge and head) product.

Q. What is meant by catchment area?

Ans. The catchment area is the area, bounded by water sheds, which drains into a stream or river across which the dam has been built at a suitable place.

Q. What is hydrograph?

Ans. A hydrograph is a graphical representation of discharge or flows with time.

Q. What is a mass curve?

Ans. A mass curve is a curve which indicates the total volume of runoff in cubic-meter up to a certain time.

Q. What is the use of mass curve?

Ans. A mass curve is used in the determination of the capacity of the storage reservoir in hydro-projects.

Q. What for pondage is provided?

Ans. In case power plant is away from die storage reservoir, a small pond is provided near the power plant in order to meet die hourly changes in power demand.

Q. What for the dam is provided?

Ans. The functions of a dam in hydropower plants are to raise the water surface of the stream to create an artificial head and also to provide the pondage, storage or the facility of diversion into conduits.

Q. What civil engineering works are necessary for a hydroelectric project?

Ans. The civil engineering works for a hydroelectric project include reservoir dam, forebay, spillway, intake structures, surge tank, penstock, tail race etc.

Q. What for surge tank is provided?

Ans. The surge tank is provided to absorb sudden changes in water requirements and reduce water hammer and negative pressure in penstock.

Q. What are the different types of turbines?

Ans. Turbines employed in hydroelectric power plants are the Pelton wheel, Francis turbine, and Kaplan turbine.

Q. On what factors does the selection of a water turbine depend?

Ans. The selection of a water turbine depends upon various factors such as working head, available discharge, speed, output and nature of the load.

Q. Can an old steam power plant be an alternative to a pumped storage plant for peak load operations?

Ans. No, because it is a costly proposition and moreover it (steam power plant) needs large starting time and shutdown time.

Q. What are the advantages of small hydropower plants?

Ans. Small hydropower plants offer several advantages such as simple operation, reliability, minimal maintenance, quick construction, simple civil engineering and small financial requirements.

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