How Do Conventional Hydro Plants Work?
The water is held in a reservoir, or lake, behind the dam.
Penstocks lead the water into a chamber housing the turbine. The water is held at a higher elevation than the turbine, so that it can fall with enough force to strike the turbine’s blades and cause it to spin.
The turbine wheel is attached by a shaft to a system of magnets and wires called a generator. As the turbine rotates, these magnets and wires also spin—producing electricity.
4. Draft Tube and Tailrace
The water returns to the river by passing through a draft tube under the turbine and into the tailrace.