How a Dam Turns Water into Power

The energy from falling water is converted into electricity through the following steps:

  • Water held at a higher elevation flows downwards through a penstock,
  • The water then flows into the turbines inside the powerhouse,
  • The force of the water rotates the turbine blades which in turn rotates the turbine shaft,
  • The turbine shaft connects to the generator and as the generator rotates, it converts the mechanical energy onto electrical energy by electromagnetic induction. This occurs when a loop of wire movers through a magnetic fields and an electrical current is produced when the rotor rotates past the stator.

The water is then released back into the river system below the dam and continues to flow downstream.