+- +-


Welcome, Guest.
Please login or register.
Forgot your password?

+-Stats ezBlock

Total Members: 39
Latest: Felipe_solarmining_chile
New This Month: 0
New This Week: 0
New Today: 0
Total Posts: 7213
Total Topics: 215
Most Online Today: 1
Most Online Ever: 48
(June 03, 2014, 03:09:30 am)
Users Online
Members: 0
Guests: 2
Total: 2

Author Topic: Dam Hydropower  (Read 886 times)

0 Members and 0 Guests are viewing this topic.


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7043
  • Location: Colchester, Vermont
    • View Profile
    • Agelbert Truth AND Consequences
Re: Dam Hydropower
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2017, 03:11:54 pm »

Building Hoover Dam, in pictures (1931-1936)

Tibi Puiu March 23, 2017

Officials boldly ride in one of the penstock pipes of the soon-to-be-completed Hoover Dam (1935). Credit: BUREAU OF RECLAMATION

When it was finally finished in 1936, the 60-story Hoover Dam was the highest dam in the world. That distinction now belongs to Jinping-I Dam in China. Eighty years later, however, Hoover Dam is not only still operational generating 3.6 TWh annually and a tourist attraction where millions flock every year, it’s also a remarkable engineering effort that serves as an inspiration for great infrastructure works.

This huge dam was built in only five years, from 1931 to 1936, with 5,251 people employed at peak construction. Hoover Dam’s story began much earlier, though. A famous engineer at the time from the Bureau of Reclamation named Arthur Powell Davis first outlined the vision for a high dam erected in Boulder Canyon, Colorado back in 1902. His indications and initial engineering report were put to good use when detailed plans for Hoover Dam began in 1921.

An inspection party near the proposed site of the dam in the Black Canyon on the Colorado River (1928). Credit: EYSTONE/FPG/HULTON ARCHIVE.

Herbert Hoover, the 31st president of the United States and the man the dam was named after, played a crucial role in turning Davis’ vision into reality. In 1921, at the time a secretary of commerce, Hoover became convinced that a dam is of the utmost importance in Boulder Canyon. Such infrastructure would provide much-needed flood control in the area protecting downstream farming communities that got battered each year when snow from the Rocky Mountains melted and spewed into the Colorado River.

A surveyor signals to colleagues during the construction of the dam (1932). Credit: CORBIS.

The damn would also provide enough water to irrigate farming in the desert and supply southern Californian communities like Los Angeles with potable water. That’s, of course, in addition to the electricity it would generate. In 2015, Hoover Dam, which has a 2,000 megawatts of capacity, served the annual electrical needs of nearly 8 million people in Arizona, southern California, and southern Nevada.

Dynamite is detonated in the canyon to make room for the new dam (1933). Credit: CORBIS.

Once Hoover became president in 1929, the Boulder Canyon dam became a national priority. In the same year, the president signed the Colorado River Compact into law, also known as the ‘Law of the River’. It defined the relationship between the upper basin states, where most of the river’s water supply originates, and the lower basin states, where most of the water demands were developing. Hoover would later claim this was “the most extensive action ever taken by a group of states under the provisions of the Constitution permitting compacts between states”.

To make sure the canyon walls were solid enough to support the arch design, so-called ‘high scalers’ were employed to hammer away anything loose. Falling rocks were a serious hazard so the workers dripped their hats in tar and left them out to dry. Essentially, these were some of the first hard hats. Credit: Corbis

Building Hoover Dam was a gargantuan task. Before construction of the dam itself could begin, the Colorado River had to be diverted. Four diversion tunnels were carved through canyon walls to divert river flow around the dam site. Then, the riverbed had to dredged of deep silt and sediments to expose the bedrock formation.

This bucket holds 18 tons of concrete (1934). Credit: CORBIS.

To stabilize Hoover Dam, its base required 230 gigantic blocks of concrete. Then, columns were linked together like a giant Lego set with alternating vertical and horizontal placements. By the time concrete pouring ceased on May 29, 1935, some 2,480,000 m3 of concrete were used, not counting the 850,000 m3 employed in the power plant and other works. Overall, enough concrete was poured to pave a two-lane highway between San Francisco and New York!  :o


Construction works carried on day and night (1935). Credit: CORBIS.

All of that concrete would have taken 100 years to cool and cure properly  :o were it not for the intervention of the Hoover Dam engineers. Some 528 miles worth of one-inch steel pipes were embedded through the interconnecting concrete blocks through which ice cold water was circulated. The water was supplied by the construction site’s own ammonia refrigeration plant which at peak capacity could produce the equivalent of a giant 1,000-pound ice block every day.

Hoover Dam is an arch-gravity design which dissipates that pressure into the canyon walls equally on the Arizona and Nevada side. Water exerts as much as 45,000 pounds per square foot of pressure at the base of Hoover Dam but this immense crushing force is transferred to the canyon walls.

The architect of Hoover Dam was Gordon B. Kaufmann, known for his design of the Los Angeles Times Building. Kaufmann not only took structural design in consideration but also applied an elegant Art Deco style to the entire project.

  :D  Engineering students pose for a picture atop one of the 2 million-pound hydroelectric generators for the dam at the General Electric factory in Schenectady, New York (1935).

A widely circulated urban myth says many bodies are were buried inside the dam’s concrete. That’s certainly not true although way too many people died building Hoover Dam by today’s standards. Officially, there are 112 deaths associated with the construction of Hoover Dam, including three workers who committed suicide on site, and a visitor who died accidentally falling off the massively high structure.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt tours the dam (1935). Credit: CORBIS

The final block of concrete was poured and topped off at 726 feet above the canyon floor in 1935. On September 30, a crowd of 20,000 people watched President Franklin Roosevelt commemorate the magnificent structure’s completion. The dam was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985 and one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders in 1994. It receives some 7 million visitors annually, while Lake Mead, the world’s largest reservoir, hosts another 10 million as a popular recreation area.

Hoover dam after years of operation (1940). Credit: SCHENECTADY MUSEUM.


Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7043
  • Location: Colchester, Vermont
    • View Profile
    • Agelbert Truth AND Consequences
Re: Dam Hydropower
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2017, 04:48:35 pm »
Amazing what the thermodynamic energy embedded in Fossil Fuels enabled Homo Sap to do on the civil engineering level.

Unfortunately of course, we are running out of that fuel with which to maintain said dams, and they will in due time be taken down by the forces of nature.


True, but I have a different take on what happened AFTER the US went wild building Renewable Energy infrastructure on a massive scale during the 1930's for about two decades.
You know old man Rockefeller died around when Hoover Dam was being built. I'll bet you dollars to donuts that when he SAW    a picture of this Gigantic Electric Generator, it scared the living S H I T out of him.

  Engineering students pose for a picture atop one of the 2 million-pound hydroelectric generators for the dam at the General Electric factory in Schenectady, New York (1935).

SO, his friends in fossil fuel fascsistdom began ANOTHER attack on renewables (remember, at this time the fossil fuel fascists had DESTROYED the wind generator push 30 years early, the ethanol push 20 years early AND were busy destroying plant based  fuel refinery technology pioneered in the  1930's). Making hemp illegal was part of their skullduggery. And don't forget buying and trashing electric trolleys to replace them with buses. If their product is so God Damned "efficient", why do they ALWAYS go out of their way to destroy the competition?

AND, before all that, they had attacked geothermal (late 19th century) and KEPT a lid on it in the USA, despite we having MASSIVE resources and an invention called a power line that can send energy through wires one hell of a lot cheaper than using gasoline trucks to do it. And don't forget how they engineered a huge tax on booze as far back as 1870 in order to make kerosene artificially cheaper than alcohol for lamp fuel. And all that BULLSHIT about all the other products we "need" to get  from fossil fuels is just that!

RE, the fossil fuel industry CANNOT make money if the MAIN use of hydrocarbons is for plastics, paint, pharmaceuticals and other stuff that ISN'T BURNED. THAT is only about 5 to 10% of their market. They go BANKRUPT if we stop burning their fuels because refineries CANNOT AVOID producing a LOT of fuel and VOCs with the TINY percent amount of lubricants they get per barrel of crude. 

I will continue to disagree with you that the ISSUE of energy production and use is simply a matter of thermodynamics, with fossil fuels as the most "energy dense". It's not. The issue is CORPORATE CORRUPTION of scientific technology in gooberment, PERIOD.

As I have written here a couple of years ago, the dams were beating the daylights out of coal plant electrical power because they were, and are, CHEAPER and clean! Of course dams screw up wildlife in the long run, BUT this fossil fuel industry sponsored imbecilic idea that we have to concentrate on ONE source of POLLUTING energy from hydrocarbons is total bullshit. It's always been total bullshit, and it always will be total bullshit. 

Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7043
  • Location: Colchester, Vermont
    • View Profile
    • Agelbert Truth AND Consequences
Re: Dam Hydropower
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2017, 05:50:25 pm »
Absolutely, FF energy has been wasted and burned indiscriminately for the self-aggrandizement and enrichment of the Plutocracy.  Much to the detriment of the planetary environment.

However, tons of it was used to build Dams like Hoover and the 3 Gorges Dam in China, and 100s if not thousands of others over the course of the last century.  Mostly in the 1930s through 1960s when all the real good spots for this were dammed up.  That has had its own set of environmental consequences of course.

Advanced batteries and solar PV didn't even exist until maybe the 1970s, so that wasn't a practical or even possible choice at that time for a growing society with growing energy needs.  So the infrastructure got built out around the energy contained in FFs, and the population kept growing as a result.  Eventually here since FF energy is a finite resource, you reach an inflexion point.  We have hit it.


I am aware of the energy technology available at any time during the 20th century. Yeah, of course they used, AND CURRENTLY USE, a lot of fossil fuels to make concrete. What was 'practical' at any time during that century was a product of corruption, not CFS. You really do believe that we needed fossil fuels to build all those dams when ethanol plant products couldn't? It was corruption that strangled ethanol and geothermal AND wind (and later on, solar from 1955 on for most of that century - even though the photoelectric effect was KNOWN since Einstein discovered it in the  early years of the 20th century!). We could build a nuke but we couldn't have built solar panels in 1940? Give me break! 

WE DID NOT NEED THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY. I know you think we did. We didn't. The fossil fuelers CHEATED US out of decent government and clean energy. Do you REALLY think battery technology and solar technology and wind technology and geothermal technology and chemurgy plant fuels have been SO SLOW to develop because of "competitive cost market forces"? That's the fossil Fuel Industry's pitch. I never bought it.

I maintain that the fossil fuelers, along with the nuke pukes, ACTIVELY SABOTAGED all the new technology so it wouldn't reach "prime time" until 30 or fifty YEARS after it was actually doable. But most people, you included, just do not want to go there.  :(

From an old article by me:

Outrageously Positive Renewable Energy Growth Prediction!
January 6, 2014

By A. G. Gelbert 
Air Traffic controller/Data Systems analyst

Because I am convinced that Renewable Energy Technologies will swamp fossil and nuclear power poisonous, biosphere damaging technology (presently being subsidized and coddled by governments in many parts of the world to the detriment of their citizens), I am publishing the following Energy Technology Use Projection Chart for the USA from 2014-2035. This chart reflects what I believe to be a worldwide trend to use clean energy in the face of climate change caused catastrophe. The climate will trump all the pro-dirty energy propaganda to such a degree that the mining and burning of coal will become illegal.

For the scoffers, I can only say that you had better pray to God that my chart is accurate. If it is not, and the power of the fossil and nuclear fuels profit-over-planet bullies limits renewable energy to a mere 20% niche (as the dirty energy defenders desire), mankind and most of the species in our biosphere will suffer irreparable damage.

It's time to stop playing accounting games and fudging Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROI) computations to make dirty energy look profitable. It never was.

It's time for mankind to grow up and accept our sacred duty as a self aware species to be the steward of all lifegiving forces on this planet. It's time to profit off of life and leave behind the ridiculous, delusional, destructive and suicidal social Darwinist concept that you can profit from death.

Growth of renewable energy technology is already nearly exponential. However, because the forces arrayed against it are determined to hold their market share by hook or by crook, increasing legislative headwinds are being encountered. This is due to the fact that subsidies for dirty energy are not being phased out even while subsidies for clean energy (a pittance in comparison to dirty energy coddling) are being challenged as "wasteful" in truly Orwellian fashion.

As I have documented at this link ( http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/fossil-fuel-folly/fossil-fuel-propaganda-modus-operandi/msg542/#msg542 ) about Ocean Going Oil Tankers and several other posts describing, in detail, the Modus Operandi of fossil fuel corporations' profit-over-planet standard operational procedures is unsustainable.

The dirty energy corporations have never seriously addressed pollution issues. Instead they mendaciously claim through vigorous public relations propaganda efforts that they respect the environment and are merely providing energy to "improve" our standard of living.

They have a long history of destroying promising renewable energy technologies in their infancy.

In the 1920's it was Rockefeller that funded the efforts to obtain Prohibition. It had nothing to do with sin or people drinking. It had everything to do with destroying ethanol as a competitor to gasoline (with Prohibition, farmers could no longer make their own fuel for their tractors or grow the fuel to sell to automobile owners - Rockefeller, rather than our farmers, profited from the growth of the automobile because ethanol - a superior fuel - was illegal). By the time Prohibition ended, the myth that gasoline "outcompeted" ethanol was well entrenched in society.

Now the fossil fuelers claim ethanol from plants takes food off the table. That is another bold faced lie that has been exposed with crop land statistics worldwide. But that never stops these ethics free pro-fossil fuel propagandists from repeating the lies. They have to because their product (gasoline) is, not just poisonous, it's less efficient too! And yeah, they lie day and night about the efficiency of gasoline versus ethanol too. Ethanol was always a superior fuel. That's why the laws were rigged to get it out of the way for big oil to push their refinery waste product (gasoline) onto us. The dirty energy defenders continue the disinformation campaign about ethanol to this day.



In the 1930s, the promise of chemurgy (now re-discovered in the 21st century along with the resurgence of ethanol as a superior internal combustion engine fuel) was crushed by a group of magnates from fossil fuels, paper products and pharmaceuticals who saw their profits threatened. Had chemurgy been utilized to make every product previously made from hydrocarbons (plastics, pharmaceuticals, paints, fuel, lubricants, etc.) to be made, instead, from plant based carbohydrates, the oil industry would have have lost their monopoly as a feedstock for these products. The plant based carbohydrate chemurgy also threatened the paper industry which had millions invested in forest harvesting rather than quick growing, environmentally friendly plants that could produce everything from paper to clothing to shoes without destroying forests.

Once again, Renewable energy was destroyed in its infancy. Farmers, once again, suffered while large fossil fuel and chemical industries (the most horrendous polluters on the planet) gained more wealth by gaming the laws, NOT by fair competition, as they claim.


The only really major advance in renewable energy was the massive dam building project of the 1930s and 1940s that produced a penetration of over 30% of our electrical grid powered by renewable energy. To this day, we have not gotten to that level. Yes, the grid is much larger but we had the technology to go fully renewable several decades ago. It was blocked because plutonium was needed for bombs. Nuclear power plants, outrageously expensive in comparison to dams, were sold to us as "too cheap to meter" when the truth was hidden behind a veil of secrecy.

So much so that the costs of mining, refining and manufacturing fuel rod assemblies (that last only 5 to 7 years before having to be secured at taxpayer cost for centuries!) were totally covered up in the miasma of "National Security" (along with Navajo miner cancer clusters).

Those of you that claim it really was justified for national security in the cold war, I challenge you to explain WHY, if it was ONLY about National Security, these nuclear power plant radioactive white elephants that we-the-people were bamboozled into paying for, did not REMAIN IN PUBLIC HANDS? Oh no, they became FOR PROFIT cash cows for utility investors while we-the-people, STILL TO THIS DAY, are holding the bag for nuclear accidents. Take your "National Security" baloney somewhere else.

Now that we don't need all that plutonium, the truth is finally coming out. We need nuclear power plants like a dog needs ticks!


NOTE: All the radionuclides needed in medicine for imaging can be manufactured in cyclotrons safely. No nuclear reactors are needed for nuclear medicine! The radionuclides made in cyclotrons have extremely short half lives making them safe for the environment AND superior for imaging than longer lived radionuclide's made in nuclear power plants pushed on to nuclear "medicine" as an added nuclear power plant cash cow (otherwise, they are just hazardous waste).

As our electrical grid grew with more fossil fuel coal poisoning our children along with the added radiation and CO2 gradually building up, dirty energy celebrated its hegemony over the energy spigot.

 It has now become common knowledge how much we-the-people have been coerced into spending to keep the fossil fuel industry's profits happy.

This quote fro the peer reviewed book by Dilworth pretty much sums up what "cheap" fossil fuels have cost the American people, and by extension, caused grievous harm to the entire planet's people and biosphere.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

"As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, It AMOUNTED TO $468 PER BARREL, or 18 TIMES the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself.

In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in ONE YEAR  at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, THEY COULD HAVE ELIMINATED THE NEED TO IMPORT OIL from the Middle East.

So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists. "

Note: I added the bold caps emphasis on the barrel of oil price, money spent in one year and the need to import oil from the Middle East.


We finally developed the solar panel when we had no other choice (energy in space). Tell me, do you honestly think the solar panel could not have been developed in the 1930s and 1940s INSTEAD of the atomic bomb and for maybe a tenth of the cost? Of course it could have! The photoelectric physics was understood. All they needed was money. Big oil and nuclear bomb and power advocates made certain they did not get it.

And that brings us to the 1980s when the same forces that acted successfully against renewable energy in the 1920s and 1930s came together to organize a massive attack on renewable energy, in any form, again.

They succeeded. Now they continue to claim that solar, wind ,tide, ocean current, modernized hydro, etc cannot compete with "cheap" fossil fuels. It was a lie in 1980 and an even more monstrous lie now. In order to perpetrate this Orwellian fantasy, many millions were, and are being, paid to politicians and propaganda outlets from the news media to astroturf pretend representatives of common people to conscience free advertising agencies that will say anything for a buck.

Reagan is a key reason we have only about one-sixth of the soaring global market for windpower — an industry we once dominated: “President Reagan cut the renewable energy R&D budget 85% after he took office and eliminated the wind investment tax credit in 1986. This was pretty much the death of most of the US wind industry” (see “Anti-wind McCain delivers climate remarks at foreign wind company“).
Reagan gutted Carter’s entire multi-billion dollar clean energy and energy efficiency effort. He opposed and then rolled back fuel economy standards. Reagan turned all such commonsense strategies into “liberal” policies that must be opposed by any true conservative, a position embraced all too consistently by conservative leaders from Gingrich to Bush/Cheney and now to John McCain.



Friends of Renewable Energy:

Those of you fellow Homo sapiens that live in the reality based community and understand objectively and dispassionately that what is at stake is the very existence of mankind and much of the biosphere, need to also understand that the forces that kept renewable energy from competing on a level energy playing field are trying to do it again. Don't let them. Challenge every single myth, assumption and egregious happy talk lie about fossil fuels and nuclear power from the very beginning of their use. They were NEVER competitive with Renewable Energy, PERIOD.
People, poison is poison. Repeat that to these people that don't see the connection between a car running in a closed garage and what they are doing to the planet.

If those people do see the connection and don't care, do your part to put them behind bars. I am not kidding. People that are complicit in causing the death of humans are considered accessories to murder.

The victims of this premeditated crime are not limited to humans but extend to the entire biosphere. The fact that it's not personal, just "business", exposes the mens rea psychopathic thinking of these willful planet trashers .

Stop them or we have no future.

Make the above chart a reality and we have a chance to make amends for our insane wasteful ways and open the path to a sustainable future.


"Whether one views the modern world as insane or not may even be a criterion of one’s own sanity."  Masanobu Fukuoka

Article chart at link:
Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7043
  • Location: Colchester, Vermont
    • View Profile
    • Agelbert Truth AND Consequences
Re: Dam Hydropower
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2017, 01:35:43 pm »

Expansion of Switzerland's 480-MW FMHL Pumped Storage Plant Complete
Switzerland's 480-MW FMHL pumped storage plant

LAUSANNE, Switzerland


By Michael Harris  Associate Editor

More than 200 guests were on hand today as Swiss utility Alpiq inaugurated the expanded 480-MW Forces Montrices Hongrin-Leman pumped storage hydroelectric plant.

The addition of two new 120 MW turbines makes it the second-largest pumped storage plant in Switzerland, Alpiq said — not only contributing to the country's power security, but also its contributions to the European Commission's Energy Strategy 2050 gas emissions goals. 60 MW of the plant's capacity will act as a reserve, helping balance Switzerland's growing wind and solar sectors.

"Switzerland is fortunate to have a powerful hydroelectric infrastructure that enables it to take up the challenge of efficiently integrating intermittent energies into its energy system," said Benoit Revaz, director of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy.

The cost of the US$328.7 million plant was split amongst three partners, with Romande Energie, Alpiq, Groupe E and the city of Lausanne assuming 41.14 percent, 32.29 percent, 13.14 percent and 6.43 percent shares, respectively.

Feasibility studies for the FMHL expansion were conducted a decade ago. The pair of new turbines increases its output capacity from 240 MW and are house in a 100-meter long, 25-meter wide and 56-meter tall cavern with remote operation provided by Alpiq's Centre d'Exploitation et de Gestion de la Production in Lausanne.
Switzerland's 1,000-MW Linthal pumped storage project, inaugurated in January 2016, has the honor of being the country's largest.

Linthal pumped storage tunnel

Switzerland's 1,000-MW Linthal pumped storage project

Leges         Sine    Moribus     Vanae   
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.


+-Recent Topics

Wind Power by AGelbert
June 21, 2017, 10:01:29 pm

Electric Vehicles by AGelbert
June 21, 2017, 07:53:48 pm

Corruption in Government by AGelbert
June 20, 2017, 07:30:41 pm

Global Warming is WITH US by AGelbert
June 20, 2017, 07:15:49 pm

The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth by AGelbert
June 20, 2017, 04:46:42 pm

Fossil Fuel Profits Getting Eaten Alive by Renewable Energy! by AGelbert
June 20, 2017, 02:52:28 pm

War Provocations and Peace Actions by AGelbert
June 19, 2017, 04:52:20 pm

Intelligence by AGelbert
June 18, 2017, 02:23:09 pm

Money by AGelbert
June 18, 2017, 01:35:04 pm

Corporate Fascist Corruption of Christianity by AGelbert
June 17, 2017, 06:52:42 pm

Free Web Hit Counter By CSS HTML Tutorial