Hydraulic Turbines transfer
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Hydraulic Turbines transfer the energy from a flowing fluid to a rotating shaft. Turbine itself means a thing which rotates or spins. To know more about what are Hydraulic Turbines, what is the working principle of Hydraulic Turbines and how are they classified, read on through this article series.
Leonardo da Vinci once said “The power of water has changed more in this world than emperors or kings”. It was very rightly stated by him as in present time Hydropower, the power generated from water, has a major contribution to the world’s total power production. This all was made possible by the development of Hydraulic Turbines which can transfer the energy from flowing water to the shafts of dynamos producing electrical power.
Hydraulic Turbines have a row of blades fitted to the rotating shaft or a rotating plate. Flowing liquid, mostly water, when pass through the Hydraulic Turbine it strikes the blades of the turbine and makes the shaft rotate. While flowing through the Hydraulic Turbine the velocity and pressure of the liquid reduce, these result in the development of torque and rotation of the turbine shaft. There are different forms of Hydraulic Turbines in use depending on the operational requirements. For every specific use a particular type of Hydraulic Turbine provides the optimum output.
A new concept
All common water machines until the late 19th century (including water wheels) were basically reaction machines; water pressure head acted on the machine and produced work. A reaction turbine needs to fully contain the water during energy transfer.
In 1866, California millwright Samuel Knight invented a machine that took the impulse system to a new level Inspired by the high pressure jet systems used in hydraulic mining in the gold fields, Knight developed a bucketed wheel which captured the energy of a free jet, which had converted a high head (hundreds of vertical feet in a pipe or penstock) of water to kinetic energy. This is called an impulse or tangential turbine. The water's velocity, roughly twice the velocity of the bucket periphery, does a u-turn in the bucket and drops out of the runner at low velocity.
In 1879, Lester Pelton (1829-1908), experimenting with a Knight Wheel, developed a double bucket design, which exhausted the water to the side, eliminating some energy loss of the Knight wheel which exhausted some water back against the center of the wheel. In about 1895, William Doble improved on Pelton's half-cylindrical bucket form with an elliptical bucket that included a cut in it to allow the jet a cleaner bucket entry. This is the modern form of the Pelton turbine which today achieves up to 92% efficiency. Pelton had been quite an effective promoter of his design and although Doble took over the Pelton company he did not change the name to Doble because it had brand name recognition.
Turgo and Crossflow turbines were later impulse designs.
Theory of operation:
Flowing water is directed on to the blades of a turbine runner, creating a force on the blades. Since the runner is spinning, the force acts through a distance (force acting through a distance is the definition of work). In this way, energy is transferred from the water flow to the turbine
Water turbines are divided into two groups; reaction turbines and impulse turbines.
The precise shape of water turbine blades is a function of the supply pressure of water, and the type of impeller selected.
Reaction turbines are acted on by water, which changes pressure as it moves through the turbine and gives up its energy. They must be encased to contain the water pressure (or suction), or they must be fully submerged in the water flow.
Newton's third law describes the transfer of energy for reaction turbines.
Most water turbines in use are reaction turbines and are used in low (<30m/98 ft) and medium (30-300m/98–984 ft) head applications. In reaction turbine pressure drop occurs in both fixed and moving blades.
Impulse turbines change the velocity of a water jet. The jet pushes on the turbine’s curved blades which changes the direction of the flow. The resulting change in momentum (impulse) causes a force on the turbine blades. Since the turbine is spinning, the force acts through a distance (work) and the diverted water flow is left with diminished energy.
Prior to hitting the turbine blades, the water’s pressure (potential energy) is converted to kinetic energy by a nozzle and focused on the turbine. No pressure change occurs at the turbine blades, and the turbine doesn’t require a housing for operation.
Newton’s second law describes the transfer of energy for impulse turbines.
Impulse turbines are most often used in very high (>300m/984 ft) head applications .