Hydroelectric Dam | Anderson Engineering

Hydroelectric Dams


Have you ever seen the Hoover Dam up close? One word comes to mind: powerful. And you’re not wrong! This hydroelectric dam brings some serious renewable energy to its surrounding areas – and we can thank a civil engineer for designing it.


So, how does a hydroelectric dam generate energy?


Simply stated, hydroelectric energy means taking the energy from moving water by means of an electric generator. When you break it down, however, this is a very involved process.


First, the water rushing through the dam causes large turbines to turn. When these turbines spin, so do the magnets located in the generator. This causes the energy to convert from kinetic to electrical (US Department of the Interior). This process creates a great source of renewable power generation.


The engineers see the planning from start to finish, including where to build, the permits involved, inspections, and much more. “The theory is to build a dam on a large river that has a large drop in elevation.” (Teach Engineering). They are also involved in the monitoring, remediation, construction, and design. Civil engineers design these hydroelectric dams for more reasons than just harnessing the energy, though. These dams can protect large areas from catastrophic flooding, provide river navigations, and store water in the reservoir.


For any questions, feel free to contact Anderson Engineering! We’d be happy to help.