Generators, Turbines & Power Plants
Diagram of a hydroelectric generator is courtesy of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As to how this generator works, the Corps of Engineers explains it this way: "A hydraulic turbine converts the energy of flowing water into mechanical energy. A hydroelectric generator converts this mechanical energy into electricity. In electricity generation, a generator is a device that converts motive power (mechanical energy) into electrical power for use in an external circuit. Sources of mechanical energy include steam turbines, gas turbines, water turbines, internal combustion engines, wind turbines and even hand cranks.