Water Power Engineering

These lectures on water power engineering concern the design and construction of hydraulic engineering works required for the generation and transport of (hydro-electric) energy. The energy in water resources is present as potential or kinetic energy. Accordingly, one may generate hydro-electric energy from water in rivers and streams, from waves, marine currents and tides, while energy can also be generated by making use of temperature and density differences.

In these lectures the emphasis will be on the generation of hydro-electric energy from rivers, because a great number of hydraulic works are needed to pursue this aim. In this context the following works are mentioned: reservoir dams (built from non-cohesive materials or concrete), spillways and intake structures in reservoirs, water conveyance systems and hydropower plants.

Finally, the works required to extract energy from the water in seas and oceans will be discussed. Most of these works are, however, still at an early stage of their development. Many hydraulic engineering works built for the purpose of energy generation are situated outside the Netherlands in surroundings that are completely different, in all aspects, from the Dutch surroundings. Special attention will therefore be paid to the typically non-Dutch features in these works, such as:

  • multipurpose aspects of works;
  • founding of structures on rock;
  • economics of multipurpose reservoir systems;
  • lack of data.

Internationally, the range of knowledge and experience in fields such as large dams and hydropower is very large. Accordingly, the material presented in these lecture notes can be viewed as nothing more than an introduction to the subject. When compiling these lecture notes an attempt has, however, been made:

  • to explain to students the principles and systems that are at the base of the design and construction of hydraulic engineering works required for the generation of energy from water in rivers and in the sea;
  • to show students the way to existing handbooks, congress proceedings and magazine articles.

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