Difference WikiGeneral

Difference Between Wind Power and Hydropower

Main Difference

The main difference between Wind Power and Hydropower is that Wind Power is the power that is generated by using windmills or wind turbines, whereas Hydropower is the power generated by the flow of water downstream.

Wind Power vs. Hydropower

Wind power is the power that is generated from a renewable resource, i.e., wind by using windmills or wind turbines, etc. in windy areas. On the other side, hydropower is the power that is generated by the flow of water downstream with the help of generators.

Wind power has some limitations. It is confined to some windy zones and states. On the flip side, hydropower is known as the major source of energy from renewable in the world. There are beyond 160 countries worldwide that are reliant on hydropower as the source of energy.

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Wind power has a low cost per watt per hour but in some specific locations only. On the other hand, hydropower has a cheaper cost per watt per hour. Wind power requires little maintenance than hydropower. Wind power has a simple system then hydropower.

In wind power stations of some areas, the power output may be sporadic. So, there should be an alternate power source or a large battery bank. On the flip side, there is no need for a large power bank in hydropower. There are different cons of wind power and hydropower. They are not suitable in different areas due to the unavailability of resources.

Comparison Chart

Wind PowerHydropower
A renewable energy source that is obtained by using windmills or wind turbines in windy areas is known as wind power.A renewable energy source that is obtained by using the energy of flowing water downstream is known as hydropower.
Type of Source
Wind power is the type of energy source with some limitations.Hydropower is known as the largest source of renewable energy in the world.
Production
Wind power is produced by wind turbines and windmills in windy areas.Hydropower is obtained by building a dam and using generators that convert the kinetic energy of water in hydropower.
Cost per Watt per Hour
Wind power has a low cost per watt per hour.It is cheaper per watt per hour.
Maintenance
Wind power requires low maintenance.Hydropower requires more maintenance as compared to wind power.
Alternate Power Source
There should be an alternate power source or large battery bank in the wind power station.There is no need for a large power bank in hydropower.
Restrictions
Wind power is restricted to some windy areas and countries only.There are above 160 states worldwide that depend on hydropower as the source of energy.
Efficiency
Wind turbines cannot produce energy below 10mph winds and prevent continuing under 50mphs winds. So, it is a less efficient power source.Water is almost eight hundred times denser than air, so even a very slow-moving water stream may yield a considerable amount of energy from the water.
Power Output
Its power output is predictable in some locations.It also has expected year-round power output.
Capacity in Pakistan
In Pakistan, wind power capacity is 1,237 MW.Hydropower capacity in Pakistan is 7,320 MW.
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What is Wind Power?

Wind power is the energy that is obtained by harnessing the energy of wind with the help of windmills and wind turbines. The main difference between wind turbines and windmills is that wind turbines produce electric power while mind mills produce mechanical power. These two different types of powers are used to perform different works, e.g., for pumping water or grinding grains, etc.

Wind turbines move by air flows and air pressures. Enormous air streams are used to move the fins of the turbines of wind. Wind turbines cannot produce energy below 10mph winds and prevent continuing under 50mphs winds.

The latest wind turbines that are also called utility-scale wind turbines and fluctuating 600-kilo watts to 5 Megawatts of rated output, while more action-oriented usage of the turbines has power rating between two-megawatt to three-megawatts. Moreover, the power that is obtained from the wind turbines is directly proportional to the speed of the wind, so the output of the wind turbines boosts up with the increase in the speed of the wind significantly.

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The locations or sites that are chosen for the wind farms are those where there are very much stronger and more constant winds, e.g., areas with high altitude and offshore sites, etc. These sites are always preferred for the functionality and installation of the wind turbines.

Globally, there is more demand for wind power energy. To achieve this target, wind turbines should be installed or ensconced in vast areas, especially in the areas or regions with higher wind flow and major wind means. There are lots of pros and cons of wind power that are given below

Pros

  • Its power output is Predictable in some locations.
  • It has a smaller system that requires less management.
  • It provides a low cost per watt per hour in a suitable site.

Cons

  • Due to a lack of resources, it is not suitable in different areas.
  • Towering for a wind power station may be expensive for larger units.
  • Some people object aesthetically to the towers.
  • Birds of prey may run into guy wires and towers.
  • It causes significant noise in high winds.
  • Even minor maintenance on a windmill is difficult on the top of a tower. That causes a problem and adds to the complexity and cost of the system.
  • Moving parts of the turbines will sooner or later exhaust.
  • There should be an alternate power source or large battery bank in wind power station because power output may be sporadic in some areas

What is Hydropower?

“Hydro” means “water.” Hydropower is the energy that is obtained by the kinetic energy of the flowing water. It is a very efficient and inexpensive source of energy. Water coming from high altitude has high potential energy that changes into kinetic energy when water flows downstream. This energy may be harnessed by building dams and using generators that convert the kinetic energy of water in hydropower.

As we know that, water is almost eight hundred times denser than air so, even a very slow-moving water stream may yield a considerable amount of energy from the water.

Forms of Energy can Obtain Through Hydropower

  • Hydroelectric energy generally refers to large-scale and huge hydropower dams in the countries.
  • Hydro structure are microstructure that are actually hydropower installations or fittings and generates about 70-100 kilowatts of power and energy. Such types of systems are mostly used in resourceful water areas, for example, remote areas to supply power.
  • Another type of water energy is obtained from tides, which is known as tidal energy or tidal power. This form of energy converts the energy of the tides into some beneficial forms of power, e.g., electricity. But, we are not using this type of energy for many years. But, tidal power has the potential to fulfill the demands of the future. Moreover, tides are more predictable than wind energy and solar power.

Pros

  • It is fueled by water, so it’s a pollution-free source, which means that it would not pollute the air like other power plants that use fossil fuels like coal or natural gas, etc.
  • It is a domestic source of energy, so, each state may generate its own energy without being dependent on international fuel sources.
  • Water is a renewable energy source that can be obtained again and again through the water cycle. So, it a more affordable and reliable source than fossil fuels.
  • It also has expected year-round power output.
  • It does not need a large battery bank as an alternative energy source.
  • The system is quiet and can be made unobtrusive.
  • It requires low maintenance.

Cons

  • Due to a lack of resources, it is also not suitable in different areas.
  • It needs significant modification resources of water.
  • If there is a need for damming or removing dirt, then the initial installation cost could be high.
  • In colder regions or climates, there may be many problems like the freezing of pipes, etc.
  • Moving parts will sooner or later exhaust.

Key Differences

  1. A renewable energy source that is obtained by using windmills or wind turbines in windy areas is known as wind power whereas, a renewable energy source that is obtained by using the energy of flowing water downstream is known as hydropower.
  2. Wind power is the type of energy source with some limitations; on the other hand, hydropower is known as the largest source of renewable energy in the world.
  3. Wind power is produced by wind turbines and windmills in windy areas. Wind turbines produced electric power, while mind mills produced mechanical power. On the flip side, hydropower is obtained by building a dam and using generators that convert the kinetic energy of water in hydropower.
  4. Wind power is restricted to some windy areas and countries only; conversely, there are more than 160 countries in the world that are dependent on hydropower as the source of energy.
  5. Wind turbines cannot produce energy below 10mph winds and prevent continuing under 50mphs winds. So, it is a less efficient power source. On the other side, as water is almost eight hundred times denser than air so, even a very slow-moving water stream may yield a considerable amount of energy from the water. So, hydropower is a more efficient source of energy.
  6. Wind power stations require low maintenance on the flip side; hydropower stations require more maintenance as compared to wind power.
  7. Wind power provides a low cost per watt per hour. On the other hand, hydropower has the lowest cost per watt per hour as compared to wind power.
  8. There should be an alternate power source or large battery bank in the wind power station because power output may be sporadic in some areas whereas, there is no need for a large power bank in hydropower.
  9. In Pakistan, wind power capacity is 1,237 MW but, hydropower capacity is about 7,320 MW.

Comparison Video

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Conclusion

The above discussion summarizes that wind power and hydropower both are renewable energy resources. Wind power is obtained through the energy of wind by using wind turbines and windmills in windy areas of the country. On the other hand, hydropower is generated from the kinetic energy of water by using generators.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson