Thesis: History of Hydro Power

Sample Thesis Paper

Civilizations have used hydro energy to perform tasks for thousands of years. One of the earliest recorded uses is by the Greeks nearly 2000 years ago who used water wheels to grind wheat into flour. It was also used in subsequent cultures extraction of ores in a method known as Hushing. The California Gold Rush evolved this method into that of hydraulic mining (U.S Department of Energy, 2008).

The development of the Water Turbine to harness its power can be traced back to the mid-1700s when a French hydraulic and military engineer by the name of Bernard Forest de Bélidor wrote a four volume time describing the use of vertical and horizontal axis machine. This book was called the Architecture Hydraulique (U.S Department of Energy, 2008).

Development of the turbine continued during the 17 and 1800s until 1880 when the Michigan’s Grant Rapids Electric Light and Power Company brought electricity by attaching a dynamo to a water turbine at the Wolverine Chair Factory lighting up to 16 Brush-arc Lamps. This was followed by the lighting of city street lamps at Niagara Falls in 1881. Then in 1882 the world’s first hydroelectric power plant opened up on Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin. This eventually led to the opening of several more hydroelectric plants in the United States and Canada. Today about 10% of all the energy in the United States is provided by Hydro electric power (U.S Department of Energy, 2008).

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