Review the concept of potential energy, then use this understanding to make reasonable predictions about the potential energy of two different hydroelectric dams.
Electricity is generated from water by using the potential energy stored in reservoirs behind dams. The water flows down and through large pipes, called penstocks. The potential energy becomes kinetic energy because the water is, effectively, falling. That kinetic energy from the fast-moving water pushes blades inside turbines, which cause generators to turn.
The amount of electricity a hydropower plant can produce initially depends on two factors:
Calculating potential energy depends on the force acting on 2 objects. For the gravitational force, the formula is P.E. = mgh, where m is the mass in kilograms, g is the acceleration due to gravity, and h is the height in metres.