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September 17, 2021
Turbine type according to available head
Turbines convert the energy of rushing water, steam or wind into mechanical energy to drive a generator.
The generator then converts the mechanical energy into electrical energy. In hydroelectric facilities, this
combination is called a generating unit.
The most commonly used turbine in hydropower system. Water strikes the edge of the runner, pushes the blades
and then flows toward the axis of the turbine. It escapes through the draft tube located under the turbine. It was
named after James Bicheno Francis (1815-1892), the American engineer who invented the apparatus in 1849.
Austrian engineer Viktor Kaplan (1876-1934) invented this turbine. It's similar to the propeller turbine, except
that its blades are adjustable; their position can be set according to the available flow. This turbine is therefore
suitable for certain run-of-river generating stations where the river flow varies considerably.
Since they can reach very high rotation speeds, propeller turbines are effective for low heads. Consequently,
this type of turbine is suitable for run-of-river power stations.
Named after its American inventor, Lester Pelton (1829-1908), this turbine uses spoon-shaped buckets to harness
the energy of falling water.