Using a real-world example from B.C., your students will learn the hydroelectric system, in which the energy of moving water is ultimately transformed into electricity.
Many energy transformations are involved in hydroelectric systems.
The story of hydroelectricity starts in nature with the water cycle. Snow falls in winter where it collects in high-alpine glaciers and creates a dense, thick snowpack. In the spring, this snowpack melts and the run-off makes its way down the mountain and into streams and rivers. Water collects in reservoirs behind dams.
When water in a hydro reservoir is released it flows through large pipes, called penstocks, to turbines, which are like wheels with blades. In a dam, turbines rotate when fast-moving water hits the blades. The turbines turn generators.
Inside the generator, magnets spin past coils of copper wire, causing electrons to move and converting the mechanical energy of the falling water to electrical energy.