# Working of a Dam: Exploring Beyond The Wall

• dE_logics
In summary, a river has potential energy due to height difference and can be harvested through a dam. Side considerations are unimportant, as long as the reservoir has sides and the bottom at one end is deeper than at the other.
dE_logics
All online resource as well as schools talk briefly about dams and it's working but everything is taught about the END part of the dam...that great tall wall, no one cares about what happens at the back...and that's exactly what I want to know.

I assert this might be happening -

A river comes form up to down, while it's at it's early stages (or when it's at a higher altitude), it has a high potential energy relative to it's mid phase (which's at a lower altitude); at it's mid phases this potential energy is converted to kinetic which gives a usual river maximum swiftness at this phase; most of this energy gets lost in the form of collisions of water with rocks and stuff, as a consequence the lower phases of the river is slow.
We can harvest this potential energy through the height difference -

The arrows in the above diagram show the direction of flow of fluids of a typical river on the ground by virtue of height difference...the gray block acts as a barrier such that it results in accumulation of water. The accumulation of water along the barrier will increase the potential energy of water to such a level as if the river was at an earlier stage; if this water is made to release towards the lower part of the block, it will contain lot's of kinetic energy cause of the high height of the water accumulation; this energy is harvested for various purposes and this arrangement is called a dam.
Of course, we will need another 2 set of walls to confine the fluid and make it attain such a height -

This 3-d image above is the same as the 2-d image; the gray block is the wall of the dam, the brown plane is the ground, and it has water (blue) flowing which's getting accumulated along the block...the other 2 walls which have been referred previously are a part of the valley which have been shown as green; thus the preferred place to grow a dam is between walls of a valley...also notice that the height drop of the river is within the valley, if there's no height drop at any place in the valley, the whole valley is unsuitable for dam construction.Am I right about whatever I've written here?

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Right about what? I don't see a question anywhere...

CS

stewartcs said:
Right about what? I don't see a question anywhere...

CS

Do agree with the above explanation?

dE_logics said:
Do agree with the above explanation?

Explanation of what? Yep, dams need sides. That's why steep sided canyons are commonly used. Of course not just any canyon will do. They need to be either water tight or at least sealable in someway. You have totally neglected the most interesting mechanisms, that is just how they pipe the water to the turbines.

...Also, the only relevant aspect of bottom geometry is the height difference between inlet and outlet of the reservoir. As long as the reservoir has sides and the bottom at one end is deeper than at the other, other geometry considerations are pretty much irrelevant.

Integral said:
Explanation of what? Yep, dams need sides. That's why steep sided canyons are commonly used. Of course not just any canyon will do. They need to be either water tight or at least sealable in someway. You have totally neglected the most interesting mechanisms, that is just how they pipe the water to the turbines.

That's cause I only got the explanation of this part in all the sources.

Ok then, I got my answer...thanks.

## 1. How does a dam generate electricity?

A dam generates electricity through the use of a turbine. As water flows through the dam, it turns the blades of the turbine, which are connected to a generator. The generator then converts this mechanical energy into electrical energy, which can be used to power homes and businesses.

## 2. What is the purpose of a spillway in a dam?

A spillway is a structure built into a dam that allows excess water to flow out of the reservoir. This prevents the dam from overflowing and causing damage to the surrounding area. Spillways also help regulate the water level in the reservoir and control the amount of water released downstream.

## 3. How does a dam affect the surrounding ecosystem?

The construction of a dam can have both positive and negative effects on the surrounding ecosystem. On one hand, it can provide a source of clean energy and regulate water flow, which can benefit plant and animal life. However, it can also disrupt the natural flow of rivers and impact the habitats of certain species. Dams can also block the migration of fish and other aquatic animals.

## 4. What are the main components of a dam?

The main components of a dam include the reservoir, spillway, intake structure, and powerhouse. The reservoir is the body of water that is created by the dam, while the spillway allows excess water to flow out. The intake structure is where water is collected and directed into the powerhouse, which contains the turbines and generators that produce electricity.

## 5. How is a dam built and maintained?

The construction of a dam involves careful planning, engineering, and construction processes. First, the area where the dam will be built is cleared and excavated. Then, the foundation is prepared and the dam is built using concrete, steel, and other materials. To maintain a dam, regular inspections and maintenance work are conducted to ensure its safety and efficiency. This can include repairs, cleaning, and monitoring of water levels and flow.

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