From water to power

From water we can create clean, renewable energy. We have been producing hydropower in Hydro for over 100 years.

Machine hall

But do you know how energy is made from water? Here you can follow the water's journey from a rain squall through to a hydroelectric plant, where energy is produced and transported via transmission lines to deliver the electricity we need.

water droplets

Power from water starts with precipitation in the form of rain or snow. The drops of water hit the earth and are collected in a watercourse. On the way down to the lake, the water can achieve incredible speeds and huge amounts of kinetic energy, and this is the energy we use when we produce hydropower.

Hydropower is an effective and environmentally friendly way to transform the energy in falling water into electricity. Both topography and climate have made Norway a leader in hydropower. With high rainfall, many mountains and lakes, low temperatures and little evaporation, everything is in place to produce hydroelectric power.

The necessary water falls, or drops, are found in both natural form and are constructed, where the height differences are created with a dam for example.

Water is fed into a reservoir, where it is collected before it continues in pipes down to the power station. Reservoirs can store water over time, and release it to the generating station when the power is to be produced.
hot and cold thermometer

On cold winter days when people need a lot of power, the reservoir can release a high volume of water to generate more power while rainy summer days can be used to collect water in the reservoir. In this way, the reservoir acts as a huge rechargeable battery.

From the reservoir the water is sent down a pipe to the power station. The pipes are very steep so that the water reaches full speed as it surges toward the turbines.

water reservoir

The water is forced into nozzles where it becomes highly pressurized. This pressure hurls the water at great speed toward a turbine wheel, which drives the rotor of a generator around.

water turbine

The generator is a large dynamo that produces the electricity at between 3 000 and 13 000 volts. This is increased through transformers up to 300 000 volts. The electricity is only then ready to be sent out via the power grid to thousands of homes and factories.

light bulb

On the other side of the power station, the water is released back to the natural environment. Here it is evaporated again by the sun, to return later as rain or snow. So the water continues its eternal cycle and supplies us with clean, renewable energy.

sun, raind and snow

Updated: October 3, 2016