How Waterpower Works
Waterpower: An Overview
The diagram shown below outlines the standard components in a large scale hydro-electric facility. Hydro facilities vary in size and in design. Adjustments to their layout may be made, but the essential components usually remain the same. There are usually five essential components to a hydro-electric plant besides a dam: the intake, penstock, turbine, generator and the tailrace.
Diagram source: OPG
The electricity generating process works in this manner: water flows into the intake, through the penstock. The water then turns the turbine, which connects to the generator, this action generates electricity; the water passes into the tailrace and back into the river system. The turbine and the generator function jointly and are housed together in a powerhouse. The control gate can be managed to let in more or less water depending on the flow of the water body.