A hydroelectric power plant converts the hydraulic energy of a watercourse, be it natural or artificial,into electricity. Generally, the functional scheme includes the infrastructure barrier, a dam or crossbar, which intercepts the stream, creating a tank or basin, where a layer of water is created.
Through works of abduction, canals and junction tunnels the water is piped into lading tanks and, through the penstocks, into the turbines through inlet (safety) valves and flow regulators (distributors), according to the energy demand.
The water activates the turbines and flows out, ending up into the spillway channel through which it is returned to the river. In direct connection with the turbine, according to a vertical or horizontal axis provision, there is the alternator, which is a rotating electric machine capable of converting the mechanical energy provided by the turbine into electricity.
The power thus obtained must be transformed, if it is to be transmitted over long distances. Therefore, before being fed into transmission lines, electricity passes through the transformer which increases the intensity of the current produced by the alternator, but raises the voltage to thousands of volts.
Once arrived at its intended destination, before it can be used the energy must pass into a transformer once more, only this time it’s intensity of current is raised and the tension lowered, so as to make it suitable for domestic purposes.