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the 6th millennium BC and water clocks had been used since the early 2nd millennium BC. Other early examples of water power include the Qanat system in ancient Persia and the Turpan water system in ancient China.
 Waterwheels and mills
Hydropower has been used for hundreds of years. In India, water wheels and watermills were built; in Imperial Rome, water powered mills produced flour from grain, and were also used for sawing timber and stone; in China, watermills were widely used since the Han Dynasty. The power of a wave of water released from a tank was used for extraction of metal ores in a method known as hushing. The method was first used at the Dolaucothi gold mine in Wales from 75 AD onwards, but had been developed in Spain at such mines as Las Medulas. Hushing was also widely used in Britain in the Medieval and later periods to extract lead and tin ores. It later evolved into hydraulic mining when used during the California gold rush. In China and the rest of the Far East, hydraulically operated "vigina wheel" pumps raised water into irrigation canals. At the beginning of the Industrial revolution in Britain, water was the main source of power for new inventions such as Richard Arkwright's water frame. Although the use of water power gave way to steam power in many of the larger mills and factories, it was still used during the 18th and 19th centuries for many smaller operations, such as driving the bellows in small blast furnaces (e.g. the Dyfi Furnace) and gristmills, such as those built at Saint Anthony Falls, utilizing the 50-foot (15 m) drop in the Mississippi River. In the 1830s, at the peak of the canal-building era, hydropower was used to transport barge traffic up and down steep hills using inclined plane railroads.
 Hydraulic power pipes
Hydraulic power networks also existed, using pipes carrying pressurized liquid to transmit mechanical power from a power source, such as a pump, to end users. These were extensive in Victorian cities in the United Kingdom. A hydraulic power network was also in use in Geneva, Switzerland. The world famous Jet d'Eau was originally only the over pressure valve of this network.
 Modern usage
There are several forms of water power currently in use or development. Some are purely mechanical but many primarily generate electricity. Broad categories include:
without the use of dams. Tidal power. Main article: Hydroelectricity y y y y Conventional hydroelectric. usage of stream generators.A conventional dammed-hydro facility (hydroelectric dam) is the most common type of hydroelectric power generation. referring to hydroelectric dams. which captures energy from the tides in horizontal direction. Pumped-storage hydroelectricity. utilizing large areas to generate head. o Tidal barrage power. and use its head to generate in times of demand. which captures energy from the tides in horizontal direction. Ocean thermal energy. . somewhat similar to that of a wind turbine. to pump up water.  Marine energy A Pelamis wave device at the Aguçadoura Wave Farm in Portugal. The largest operating wave farm in the world. Main article: Marine energy y y y y Marine current power. usage of a tidal dam. o Dynamic tidal power. which captures the kinetic energy in rivers or streams. o Tidal stream power. o Tidal stream power. Also a popular form of hydroelectric power generation. which exploits the temperature difference between deep and shallow waters. which captures the kinetic energy from marine currents. which channels river water into a container separated from sea water by a semi-permeable membrane. usage of stream generators. Osmotic power. somewhat similar to that of a wind turbine. Tidal power. Run-of-the-river hydroelectricity.
and tax benefits are available for small scale hydro systems. In poor areas. Head. with a capacity of 100 kW or less.y Tidal barrage power. while less efficient. Also. since lack of rain can affect plant operation. Small scale hydro power systems can be installed in small rivers or streams with little or no discernible environmental effect on things such as fish migration. since most countries. utilizing large areas to generate head. the US Government has increased support for alternative power generation. the preferred option for domestic energy supply is to generate electricity with a generator or a reversed electric motor which. (Discuss) . Dynamic tidal power. or the amount of drop between the intake and the exit. Micro hydro power. There can be legal and regulatory issues. usage of a tidal dam. Wave power. o o  Small scale hydropower It has been suggested that some content from this article or section be split into a separate article titled Small hydro. This form of power is supported by various organizations such as the UK's Practical Action. the hydro plant will create a smaller. There are some considerations in a micro-hydro system installation. (Discuss) Small scale hydro or micro-hydro power has been increasingly used as renewable energy source. not dependent on the sunlight. allows communities to generate electricity. constant flow of power.  Resources in the United States It has been suggested that some content from this article or section be split into a separate article titled Hydroelectricity in the United States. and states have regulations about water rights and easements. Alternatively. While the solar panels may create more power during the day. Many resources such as grants. The more head. Over the last few years. Many areas of the North Eastern United States have locations along streams where water wheel driven mills once stood. is likely to be available locally and cheaply. small scale hydro power plants can be combined with other energy sources as a supplement. loans. cities. The amount of water flow available on a consistent basis. Most small scale hydro power systems make no use of a dam or major water diversion. especially in remote areas where other power sources are not viable. many remote communities have no electricity. the more power that can be generated. Sites such as these can be renovated and used to generate electricity. when the majority of power is used. For example a small scale hydro plant could be used along with a system of solar panels attached to a battery bank. Micro-hydro power can be used directly as "shaft power" for many industrial applications. but rather use water wheels. the use ocean surface waves to generate power.
an extensive survey was conducted by the US-DOE which counted sources under 1 MW (mean annual average). 50% is within the operating envelope of microhydro technologies (defined as less than 100 kW).4% of total US electricity generated in 2005. E. This may partly explain the discrepancy. In a reservoir. Developed hydropower accounted for 6. Substituting P for E»t and expressing m»t in terms of the volume of liquid moved per unit time (the rate of fluid flow. the available power is generally only a function of the hydraulic head and rate of fluid flow. Of this. ) and the density of water. we arrive at the usual form of this expression: or A simple formula for approximating electric power production at a hydroelectric plant is: . the power is related to the mass flow rate. according to the US Department of Energy. the US generated 1012 kilowatt hours of electricity.The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Each unit of water can do an amount of work equal to its weight times the head. and found that only 40% of the total hydropower potential had been developed. A total of 170 GW (mean annual average) remains available for development. In these situations. or energy per unit time. 34% is within the operating envelope of conventional turbines. the head is the height of water in the reservoir relative to its height after discharge. In large reservoirs. in 2004. The total undeveloped hydropower resource is equivalent to about one-third of total US electricity generation in 2005. "previous assessments have focused on potential projects having a capacity of 1 MW and above". In 2005. In the United States. released when an object of mass m drops a height h in a gravitational field of strength g is given by The energy available to hydroelectric dams is the energy that can be liberated by lowering water in a controlled way. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page. The amount of energy. More recently. (September 2010) There is a common misconception that economically developed nations have harnessed all of their available hydropower resources. and 16% is within the operating envelope of unconventional systems.  Calculating the amount of available power A hydropower resource can be measured according to the amount of available power.
r is flow rate in cubic meters per second. the available power is the kinetic energy of the flowing water.  Some hydropower systems such as water wheels can draw power from the flow of a body of water without necessarily changing its height. h is height in meters. and k is a coefficient of efficiency ranging from 0 to 1.8 m/s2. or with where A is the area through which the water passes. In this case. g is acceleration due to gravity of 9.P = hrgk where P is Power in kilowatts. Efficiency is often higher with larger and more modern turbines. where v is the speed of the water. also Over-shot water wheels can efficiently capture both types of energy .