Hydropower: A Historical Perspective

  • German Ardul Munoz-Hernandez
  • Sa’ad Petrous Mansoor
  • Dewi Ieuan Jones
Part of the Advances in Industrial Control book series (AIC)


The essential process involved in hydropower is the extraction of energy from water, and this chapter begins with a brief historical account of how waterwheels and hydraulic turbines were developed to do this. For hydropower to compete economically with other energy sources, a means for efficiently converting the water’s potential and/or kinetic energy to rotational mechanical energy is essential. The limitations of the waterwheel in this respect and the remedy presented by the hydraulic turbine are discussed. The mutual benefit that arises from the marriage of hydropower and electricity is explained and some of the landmarks in the development of hydroelectricity, from its modest beginning to the giant hydroelectric schemes of today, are highlighted. In view of the primary topic of this book, there is an emphasis on the role of pumped storage hydroelectricity and the importance of the reversible pump-turbine. A final section considers the recent renaissance of small hydro schemes and the current interest in hydrokinetic conversion technology.


Power Network Hydroelectric Plant Hydraulic Turbine Hydraulic Loss Francis Turbine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Reynolds, T.S.: Stronger Than a Hundred Men: A History of the Vertical Water Wheel. Studies in the History of Technology. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore (1983)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Denny, M.: The efficiency of overshot and undershot waterwheels. Eur. J. Phys. 25, 193–202 (2004)MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Layton Jr., E.T.: James B Francis and the rise of scientific technology. In: Pursell, C.W. (ed.) Technology in America: A History of Individuals and Ideas, pp. 92–104. The MIT Press, Cambridge (1990)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bindon, F.J.L.: Cwm Dyli hydro station. Power Eng. J. 4, 265–269 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    McNeil, I.: An Encyclopaedia of the History of Technology. Routledge, New York (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    US Energy: Annual energy review 2009, US Energy Information Administration (2010)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Roberts, B.: Capturing grid power. IEEE Power Energy Mag. 7(July/August), 32–41 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Beaudin, M., Zareipour, H., Schellenberglabe, A., Rosehart, W.: Energy storage for mitigating the variability of renewable electricity sources: an updated review. Energy Sustain. Dev. 14, 302–314 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Seoni, R.M., Shadeed, E.N., Simpson, R.J., Warnock, J.G.: Review of trends of large hydroelectric generating equipment. Proc. IEE 123(10), 1138–1162 (1976)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hiwassee Dam Unit: Hiwassee Dam Unit 2 Reversible Pump Turbine (1956), Hiwassee (1981)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    European Small Hydropower Association: Guide on How to Develop a Small Hydropower Plant, Brussels (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Power Engineering Society IEEE: IEEE Standard 1020-1988: Guide for Control of Small Hydroelectric Power Plants IEEE. IEEE, New York (1988)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Briand, M.H., Ng, K.: Kinetic energy recovery turbine technology: resource assessment and site development strategy. In: World Energy Conference, Montreal, Canada, 2010Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Khan, M.J., Bhuyan, G., Iqbal, M.T., Quaicoe, J.E.: Hydrokinetic energy conversion systems and assessment of horizontal and vertical axis turbines for river and tidal applications: a technology status review. Appl. Energy 86, 1823–1835 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Lago, L.I., Ponta, F.L., Chen, L.: Advances and trends in hydrokinetic turbine systems. Energy Sustain. Dev. 14, 287–296 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Güney, M.S., Kaygusuz, K.: Hydrokinetic energy conversion systems: a technology status review. Renew. Sustain. Energy Rev. 14, 2996–3004 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • German Ardul Munoz-Hernandez
    • 1
  • Sa’ad Petrous Mansoor
    • 2
  • Dewi Ieuan Jones
    • 3
  1. 1.Instituto Tecnologico de PueblaPueblaMexico
  2. 2.School of Computer ScienceBangor UniversityBangorUK
  3. 3.GWEFR Cyf Pant Hywel PenisarwaunCaernarfonUK

Personalised recommendations