Three Gorges Dam

Topics: Three Gorges Dam, Yangtze River, Hubei Pages: 3 (1273 words) Published: May 21, 2013
To what extent is ‘The Three Gorges Dam’ a Sustainable way of Generating Electricity
The Three Gorges Dam, located in central China, is one of most ambitious projects in terms of construction. It also has the largest capacity of reservoir that can generate twenty two thousand, five hundred megawatts of electricity per an hour with an efficiency rate of ninety four percent (International). There are thirty two main turbines, each producing seven hundred megawatts of electricity per hour, with two smaller generators, each producing fifty megawatts of electricity per hour (International Rivers). The way that the ‘Three Gorges Dam’ creates electricity is by harnessing water from the Yangtze River, Asia’s longest stretch of water, and collecting it in a reservoir. Pressure is then created by the rate of water flow and the height in which it is kept at. Once the reservoir is full, containing ten and a half trillion gallons of water, a gate is opened and the water flows through the penstock to turn the blades of the turbines. As these blades turn, so do the series of giant magnets in the generator. This then rotates through plain coiled copper wires to trigger the movement of electrons and create alternate current. A transformer then changes the alternate current to high voltage to be transferred through electric wires as electricity (Pearlman). Waste energy is also created by this method which is the reason in the decrease of efficiency rate. For example, when the water hits the walls of the dam creating fiction, energy and pressure is lost. Also, as the water hits the turbine blades, not all the water is used thus meaning the waste goes through another pipe back in the river (Bonsor). Throughout the years, many people have been asking whether the ‘Three Gorges Dam’ is a sustainable way of generating eco-friendly electricity (Yangtze River Cooperation). Therefore, we will compare the advantages and disadvantages in the two categories of environment and well-being and...
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