24 Jun

What is a Turbine?

What is a Turbine? There are a lot of definition of turbine. We sort of turbine definitions from different sources.

Turbine : A turbine has blades at one end and electromagnets at the other which create electricity as the blades move. Turbines are using in creating electricity from wind, water and steam power. Biomass

Turbine : The part of a generating unit which is spun by the force of water or steam to drive an electric generator. A turbine usually consists of a series of curved vanes or blades on a central spindle. Chelanpud

Turbine : Rotary engine in which the kinetic energy of a moving fluid is converted into mechanical energy by causing a bladed rotor to rotate. Princeton


  • Water under pressure contains energy.
  • Turbines convert the energy in water into rotating mechanical energy.
  • Impulse turbines convert the kinetic energy of a jet of water to mechanical energy.
  • Reaction turbines convert potential energy in pressurized water to mechanical energy.

Impulse Turbines

An impulse turbine the potential energy, or the head of water, is first converted into kinetic energy by discharging water through a carefully shaped nozzle. The jet, discharged into air, is directed onto curved buckets fixed on the periphery of the runner to extract the water energy and convert it to useful work.ic of an reaction turbine

  • Tolerate sand.
  • Easy to fabricate.
  • Efficient at wide a range of head and flow.
  • A nozzle converts pressurised water into a high-speed jet of water.

Schematic of an impulse turbine

Pelton Turbine


–Low Flow

–Medium to High Head


–Medium Flow

-Medium to High Head


–High Flow

–Low to Medium Head

Pelton Turbine

Pelton Turbine

The Pelton wheel is among the most efficient types of water turbines. It was invented by Lester Allan Pelton (1829–1908) in the 1870s, and is an impulse machine, meaning that it uses the principle of Newton’s second law to extract energy from a jet of fluid.

  • At least one jet of water strike the buckets at atmospheric pressure.
  • Maximum jet diameter about 1/3 bucket width.
  • More jets increase flow and are used at low head.


Turgo Turbines

The Turgo turbine is an impulse water turbine designed for medium head applications. Operational Turgo Turbines achieve efficiencies of about 87%. In factory and lab tests Turgo Turbines perform with efficiencies of up to 90%.

  • Similar to Pelton runner, but a more complex blade design.
  • Greater flow possible

Crossflow Turbines

Banki or Mitchell turbine.A cross-flow turbine, Banki-Michell turbine, or Ossberger turbine is a water turbine developed by the Australian Anthony Michell, the Hungarian Donát Bánki and the German Fritz Ossberger.

  • Shaft oriented horizontally.
  • Rectangular nozzle forms the jet.
  • Water strikes the blades twice.
  • A control vane changes jet size

Reaction Turbines

In a reaction turbine, forces driving the rotor are achieved by the reaction of an accelerating water flow in the runner while the pressure drops. The reaction principle can be observed in a rotary lawn sprinkler where the emerging jet drives the rotor in the opposite direction. Due to the great variety of possible runner designs, reaction turbines can be used over a much larger range of heads.

  • Expensive blade manufacture.
  • High flow rates.
  • More site specific than impulse.
  • Uses pressure drop across turbine.
  • Cavitationmust be avoided.
  • High turbine speed at low head.

Differences between impulse and reaction turbine

Reaction Turbines

  • Francis

–Medium Head

  • Propeller and Kaplan

–Low Head

  • Pump as Turbine

–Medium Head

Francis Turbine

Francis turbines are probably used most extensively because of their wider range of suitable heads, characteristically from three to 600 metres. At the high-head range, the flow rate and the output must be large; otherwise the runner becomes too small for reasonable fabrication. At the low-head end, propeller turbines are usually more efficient unless the power output is also small.

  • Guide vanes may be adjusted by governor.
  • Efficiency decreases as flow decreases.
  • Water flow is radial from exterior to interior.
  • Flow changes gradually from radial to axial.

Propeller Turbine

Fixed propeller-type turbines are generally used for large units at low heads, resulting in large diameters and slow rotational speeds.

  • Similar to ships propeller.
  • Has guide vanes similar to Francis Turbine.
  • A Kaplan Turbine has variable pitch blades.
  • Part flow efficiency is poor

Pump as Turbine

  • Centrifugal pumps may be used as turbines.
  • Low cost due to mass production.
  • No direct correlation between pump characteristics and turbine characteristics.
  • Flow is fixed for a given head.
  • Some manufacturers have tested their pumps as turbines.
  • Good for grid-tie with induction motors.


1 2 3 4

•Microhydroby Scott Davis
•MicrohydroDesign Manualby Adam Harvey
•Waterturbine.comfor picohydrounits
•BC Hydro Handbook
•Idaho National Labs



14 thoughts on “What is a Turbine?

  1. Excellent summary. As a company, we work with many of the types of turbines you mention when integrating controls. I believe this site is an excellent source of material that I hope, with you continuing permission, to access for my material.

    Well done. Thank you!

    • I am so glad to be helpful companies like yours. You can use any of materials whatever you want by giving backlink . Being helpful that the purpose of this blog. Thanks for comment.

  2. dont know much about all this trayin to understand it but cant i want to make a turbine from a near by stream to heat my poly tunnels but i need to when i make the turbine how to turn it in to power pls help

  3. Dear Sir,
    I have done my Bachelors in Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics. i would like to continue my studies which related to TURBINE. Kindly suggest.

  4. Technology Submission -State of the Art – Novel InFlow Tech – Featured Project Development; 1-Gearturbine, 2-Imploturbocompressor


    Rotary-Turbo-InFlow Tech

    Atypical InFlow Thermodynamic
Technology Proposal Submission
Novel Fueled Motor Engine Type

    *State of the art Innovative concept Top system Higher efficient percent.*Power by bar, for Air-Planes, Sea-Boats, Land-Transport & Dynamic Power-Plant Generation.
-Have similar system of the Aeolipile Heron Steam device from Alexandria 10-70 AD. -New Form-Function Motor-Engine Device. Next Step, Epic Design Change, Broken-Seal Revelation. -Desirable Power-Plant Innovation.

    YouTube; * Atypical New • GEARTURBINE / Retrodynamic = DextroRPM VS LevoInFlow + Ying Yang Thrust Way Type – Non Waste Looses

    -This innovative concept consists of hull and core where are held all 8 Steps of the work-flow which make the concept functional. The core has several gears and turbines which are responsible for these 8 steps (5 of them are dedicated to the turbo stages). The first step is fuel compression, followed by 2 cold turbo levels. The fourth step is where the fuel starts burning – combustion stage, which creates thrust for the next, 5th step – thrust step, which provides power to the planetary gears and turbines and moves the system. This step is followed by two hot turbo steps and the circle is enclosed by the final 8th step – bigger turbine. All this motion in a retrodynamic circumstance effect, wich is plus higher RPM speed by self motion. The Reaction at front of the action.

    *8-X/Y Thermodynamic CYCLE – Way Steps:
1)1-Compression / bigger
2)2-Turbo 1 cold
3)2-Turbo 2 cold
4)2-Combustion – circular motion flames / opposites
5)2-Thrust – single turbo & planetary gears / ying yang
6)2-Turbo 2 hot
7)2-Turbo 1 hot
8)1-Turbine / bigger

    -With Retrodynamic Dextrogiro vs Levogiro Phenomenon Effect. / Rotor-RPM VS InFlow / front to front; “Collision-Interaction Type” – inflow vs blades-gear-move. Technical unique dynamic innovative motion mode. [Retrodynamic Reaction = When the inflow have more velocity the rotor have more RPM Acceleration, with high (XY Position) Momentum] Which the internal flow (and rotor) duplicate its speed, when activated being in a rotor (and inflow) with [inverse] opposite Turns. The Reaction at front of the action. A very strong Novel torque power concept.

    -Non waste parasitic looses for; friction, cooling, lubrication & combustion.

    -Shape-Mass + Rotary-Motion = Inertia-Dynamic / Form-Function Wide [Flat] Cylindrical shape + positive dynamic rotary mass = continue Inertia positive tendency motion. Kinetic Rotating Mass. Tendency of matter to continue to move. Like a Free-Wheel.

    -Combustion 2Two continue circular [Rockets] flames. [ying yang] opposite one to the other. – With 2TWO very long distance INFLOW [inside propulsion] CONDUITS. -4 TURBOS Rotary Total Thrust-Power Regeneration Power System. -Mechanical direct 2two [Small] Planetary Gears at polar position. -Like the Ying Yang Symbol/Concept.

    -The Mechanical Gear Power Thrust Point Wide out the Rotor circumference were have much more lever [HIGH Torque] POWER THRUST. -No blade erosion by sand & very low heat target signature profile. -3 points of power thrust; 1-flow way, 2-gear, 3-turbine. *Patent; Dic. 1991 IMPI Mexico #197187 All Rights Reserved. Carlos Barrera.


    ·2-IMPLOTURBOCOMPRESSOR; One Moving Part System Excellence Design – The InFlow Interaction comes from Macro-Flow and goes to Micro-Flow by Implossion – Only One Compression Step; Inflow, Compression and outflow at one simple circular dynamic motion Concept.

    *·“Excellence in Design” because is only one moving part. Only one unique compression step. Inflow and out flow at the same one system, This invention by its nature a logic and simple conception in the dynamics flow mechanics area. The invention is a wing made of one piece in a rotating motion, contained in a pair cavity system connected by implocavity, and interacting dynamically with a flow, that passes internally “Imploded” through its simple mechanism. This flow can be gas (air) or liquid (water). And have two different applications, in two different form-function; this one can be received (using the dynamic flow passage, as a receiver). Or it can be generated (with a power plant, generating a propulsion).

    An example cut be, as a Bike needs a chain to work from motor to wheel. And for the Imploturbocompressor application, cut be as; in a circumstance at the engine, as an A-activate flow, and with a a tube flow conduit going to the wheel as a B-receiving-flow the work use.

    To see a Imploturbocompressor animation, is posible on a simple way, just to check the Hurricane Satellite view, and is the same implo inflow way nature.

    And when the flow that is received and that is intended to be used at best, must no necessarily by a exhausting or rejection gas, but must be a dynamic passing gas or liquid flow with the only intention to count it or to measure it. This could be possible at the passing and interacting period when it passes inside its simple mechanism. This can be in any point of the work flow trajectory.

    In case the flow that is received is a water falling by gravity, and a dynamo is placed on the rotary bar, the Imploturbocompressor can profit an be obtained by generating? electricity such as obtained by the pelton well, like I say before. The “Imploturbocompressor”, is a good option to pump water, or a gas flow, and all kinds of pipes lines dynamic moves.

    Or only receive the air-liquid flow, in order to measure its passage with a counter placed on the bar, because when this flow passes through the simple mechanism of a rotating wing made of only one piece it interacts within the implocavities system. And this flow can be air wind, with the difference of can have an horizontal work position, and that particle technical circumstances make an easy way for urban building work new use application, and have wind flow from all the sides 180 grades view. The aforementioned information about this invention refers to technical applications, such as a dynamic flow receiver. (whether being gas or liquid).

    With the appropriate power plant and the appropriate dimensioning and number of RPM this invention is also feasible to generate an atmospheric air propulsion and the auto-propulsion of an aircraft. Being an effective and very simple system that implodes and compresses the atmospheric air permits the creation of a new concept of propulsion for aircrafts, due to its simple mechanism and innovative nature. At the place of the aircraft were the system appears and the manner how the propulsion direction can be oriented with a vectorial flow (no lobster tail) with I call “yo-yo system” (middle cut (at the shell) to move, one side loose), guided and balanced is feasible to create a new concept of TOVL-vertical take-off landing, Because the exhaust propulsion can going out radial in all the 360 vectorial positions, going out direct all the time in all the vectors direction. With his rotor cover for an better furtive fly, like going down of a bridge for example.

    Likewise, with the due form and dimensioning, and considering the liquid density and the due revolutions for this element there could be generated a propulsion (water) in order to move an aquatic ship, whether on surface or under water. Also can be a good option to pump liquid combustion for a rocket propulsion.

    Making a metaphoric comparison with the intention to expose it more clearly for a better comprehension of this innovative technical detail, it would be similar to the trajectory and motion of a dynamic flow compared with a rope (extended) that passes through the system would have now a knot (without obstructing the flow), so the complete way of the flow at the imploturbocompresor system have three direct ways and between make two different turns; direct way (entrance) – turn – direct way (implocavity) – turn – direct way (exit), all this in a 1 simple circular move system concept.

    Its prudent to mention that the curves and the inclinations of the blades of a rotating wing made of this invention, is conferred by its shape and function a structural rigidity allowing it to conduct and alter appropriately the dynamic flow passing through its system. L8334 <(^_^<).

  5. Pingback: Check Out This Bird-Friendly Bladeless Wind Turbine | Care2 Causes

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