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Classification of Hydraulic turbines

Classification of Hydraulic turbines 

Hydraulic turbines are the turbines which convert hydraulic energy into electrical energy. Flowing water at a height consists of both kinetic energy and potential energy. We use the both energies of water to generate electricity. The electricity is generated by using the rotor to rotate by the action of water. To be clear, the hydraulic energy (Kinetic and Potential energy) is converted to Mechanical energy which is then converted to Electrical energy.

Classification based on the type of energy used at the inlet

Impulse Turbine

When the energy resource available for the conversion contains only kinetic energy, the turbine is said to be impulse turbine.

Reaction Turbine

When the energy resource available for the conversion contains both potential energy and kinetic energy, the turbine is said to be Reaction turbine.

Classification based on the direction of the flow through the runner

Tangential flow turbine

When the water available for the turbine flows in the tangential direction to the runner, the turbine is said to be Tangential flow turbine.

Radial flow turbine

When the water is made to flow in radial direction through the runner, it is said to be Radial flow turbine.

There are two types of Radial flow turbines. When the water flows from outward to inward radially to the turbine, it is said to be Inward radial flow turbine. When the water flows from inward to outward radially to the turbine, it is said to be Outward radial flow turbine.

Axial flow turbine

When the water available flows along the direction that is, parallel to axis of runner rotation, the turbine is said to be Axial flow turbine.

Mixed flow turbine

Mixed flow turbine contains the characteristics of both Radial flow turbine and Axial flow turbine. When the water flows in radial direction but leaves in the direction which is parallel to the axis of rotation, the type of turbine is known as Mixed flow turbine.

Classification based on head at the inlet of turbine

High head turbine

High head turbine is a turbine that runs at high head level. Example of the high head turbine is Pelton turbine. It is a tangential flow impulse turbine which runs at high head and low flow levels. The energy available for conversion is only kinetic energy.

Medium head turbine

Medium head turbine is a turbine that runs at medium head level. Example of the medium head turbine is Francis turbine. When the inward flow of the reaction turbine which has radial discharge at outlet is known as Francis turbine.

Low head turbine

Low head turbine is a turbine that runs at low head level. Example of the low head turbine is Propeller turbine and Kaplan turbine. When the vanes of a turbine are fixed to the hub and are not adjustable, then the turbine is known as Propeller turbine. When the vanes are adjustable, the turbine is said to be Kaplan turbine.

Classification based on specific speed of the turbine

Low specific speed turbine – Pelton Wheel turbine comes under this category.

Medium specific speed turbine – Francis Wheel turbine comes under this category.

High specific speed turbine – Kaplan and Propeller turbine comes under this category.

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