In hydro electric power plants energy of the water is utilized to move the turbines which in turn run the electric generators. I.e the potential energy of the stored water is used to generate electricity. The following are the advantages and disadvantages of the hydroelectric power plants.
Hydropower plants Pros (Advantages):
- There is no fuel charges in hydropower plants because it uses the stored water as fuel.
- Hydropower plant is highly reliable as it works until water force is available.
- The maintenance and operation charges are very less compared to all power plants, only the maintenance of Turbo generator and power evacuation equipments in the plant.
- Running cost of the hydropower plant is less as the fuel charges are nil. Plant operating personal is also less.
- Once the plant is fully constructed it produces the electricity at constant rate.
- There are no standby losses in hydropower plant.
- The plant efficiency will not change with age of the plant.
- Plant can be started quickly for production. It only takes a few minutes to run and synchronize the plant.
- There will not be any ash problem in hydro power plant so there is no harm to the environment.
- The output water after power generation will be used for irrigation.
- The number of operations required to start are considerable small compared to all other plants.
- Hydro power plants have long life compared to thermal power plants usually more than 100 years.
- It is clean and pollution free energy
- These power plants are also used for flood control and irrigation purposes.
- Normally these power plants are situated away from the developed areas.
Disadvantages of Hydropower plant:
- These power plants are costly because the construction costs are very high.
- The dam once constructed with that much high cost, if it is not operating for longer periods they will not be profitable.
- The erection of the hydro power plant takes considerable long time.
- These power plants usually located near hilly areas from the load center and such they require long transmission lines to transmit the power from plant to the load delivery center.
- Power Generation in hydro power plants is fully dependent on water that is stored in the dam. This water is dependent naturally occur rain; if the water is not available there will not be power generation.
- During summer, the power generation from these plants is less are may be zero.
In abnormal conditions the dam may damage which leads to heavy floods and life cost.
- Large space will be required to construct the dam. To get this large space relation of the people will be a great job to be done.