The dam is the structure (concrete, rockfill and earthfill) that serves to harness the water and obtain the difference in levels of 120 m (rated gross head) that permits the operation of the turbines. The upper part of the main dam contains the water intakes; structures with gates that permit the water, after passing through them and through the penstocks, to reach the spiral casing where it turns the turbine.
The Itaipu dam is 7,919 meters long (counting the Hernandarias dike) with a maximum height of 196 meters, equivalent to a 65-story building. It consumed 12.3 million cubic meters of concrete, while the iron and steel employed would permit the construction of 380 Eiffel Towers: dimensions that transformed the power plant into a reference with respect to concrete studies and dam safety.
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