the Foundation for Water & Energy Education
This resource consists of a set of annotated images illustrating each phase of hydroelectric power generation. The virtual tour begins as water from a reservoir flows through a large pipe at the bottom of the dam and acts to power a giant turbine. The images clearly depict two types of energy transformation: 1) Gravitational potential energy transforms to mechanical energy when rushing water turns the turbine, and 2) Mechanical energy is transformed to electrical energy by the excitation of electrons within magnets in the turbine shaft The tour concludes with images depicting the transmission and distribution of the newly-generated electricity. Images may also be viewed as flash videos.
Please note that this resource requires
Editor's Note:The reading level of the text information is Grade 10, but the resource can be easily adapted for middle school. This website is sponsored in part by the U.S. Department of Energy.
electricity, energy transformation, generator, hydroelectric energy, renewable energy, tutorial
Metadata instance created
November 27, 2007
by Caroline Hall
October 8, 2012
by Lyle Barbato
Last Update when Cataloged:
November 6, 2006
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
3. The Nature of Technology
3B. Design and Systems
6-8: 3B/M3a. Almost all control systems have inputs, outputs, and feedback.
3C. Issues in Technology
6-8: 3C/M8. Scientific laws, engineering principles, properties of materials, and construction techniques must be taken into account in designing engineering solutions to problems.
4. The Physical Setting
4E. Energy Transformations
6-8: 4E/M3. Thermal energy is transferred through a material by the collisions of atoms within the material. Over time, the thermal energy tends to spread out through a material and from one material to another if they are in contact. Thermal energy can also be transferred by means of currents in air, water, or other fluids. In addition, some thermal energy in all materials is transformed into light energy and radiated into the environment by electromagnetic waves; that light energy can be transformed back into thermal energy when the electromagnetic waves strike another material. As a result, a material tends to cool down unless some other form of energy is converted to thermal energy in the material.
6-8: 4E/M4. Energy appears in different forms and can be transformed within a system. Motion energy is associated with the speed of an object. Thermal energy is associated with the temperature of an object. Gravitational energy is associated with the height of an object above a reference point. Elastic energy is associated with the stretching or compressing of an elastic object. Chemical energy is associated with the composition of a substance. Electrical energy is associated with an electric current in a circuit. Light energy is associated with the frequency of electromagnetic waves.
9-12: 4E/H1. Although the various forms of energy appear very different, each can be measured in a way that makes it possible to keep track of how much of one form is converted into another. Whenever the amount of energy in one place diminishes, the amount in other places or forms increases by the same amount.
4G. Forces of Nature
9-12: 4G/H5c. The interplay of electric and magnetic forces is the basis for many modern technologies, including electric motors, generators, and devices that produce or receive electromagnetic waves.
8. The Designed World
8C. Energy Sources and Use
6-8: 8C/M1. Transformations and transfers of energy within a system usually result in some energy escaping into its surrounding environment. Some systems transfer less energy to their environment than others during these transformations and transfers.
6-8: 8C/M2. Different ways of obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy have different environmental consequences.
6-8: 8C/M8. People have invented ingenious ways of deliberately bringing about energy transformations that are useful to them.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11A/M2. Thinking about things as systems means looking for how every part relates to others. The output from one part of a system (which can include material, energy, or information) can become the input to other parts. Such feedback can serve to control what goes on in the system as a whole.
This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.
Topic: Conservation of Energy Unit Title: Energy Forms and Sources
This virtual tour begins as water from a reservoir flows through a large pipe at the bottom of a dam and acts to power a giant turbine. Students can see how energy is transformed from mechanical to electrical by the excitation of electrons within magnets inside the turbine shaft. This activity would be great teamed with the project above on building a water-powered generator.
Topic: Conservation of Energy Unit Title: Energy Transformation
This virtual tour begins as water from a reservoir flows through a large pipe at the bottom of a dam and acts to power a giant turbine. Students can see two types of energy transformation: 1) Gravitational Potential Energy transforms to Mechanical Energy when rushing water turns the turbine, and 2) Mechanical Energy is transformed to Electrical Energy by the excitation of electrons within magnets in the turbine shaft.
<a href="http://www.thephysicsfront.org/items/detail.cfm?ID=6185">Foundation for Water & Energy Education. Walk through a Hydroelectric Project. Spokane: Foundation for Water & Energy Education, November 6, 2006.</a>
Foundation for Water & Energy Education. Walk through a Hydroelectric Project. Spokane: Foundation for Water & Energy Education, November 6, 2006. http://fwee.org/nw-hydro-tours/walk-through-a-hydroelectric-project/ (accessed 28 August 2016).
%0 Electronic Source %D November 6, 2006 %T Walk through a Hydroelectric Project %I Foundation for Water & Energy Education %V 2016 %N 28 August 2016 %8 November 6, 2006 %9 image/gif %U http://fwee.org/nw-hydro-tours/walk-through-a-hydroelectric-project/
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