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# Unit Quantities

## In the studies of comparison of the performances of turbines of different

output, speeds and different heads, it is convenient to determine the
output, the speed and the discharge, when the head on the turbine is
reduced to unit y, i.e. 1 m. The conditions of the turbine under unit head
are such that the efficiency of the turbine remains unaffected. Thus the
velocit y triangles under working conditions and under unit head are
geometricall y similar.
Given a turbine every velocit y vector ( V 1 , U 1 , Vw 1 , V f 1 ) is a
function of H where H is the head on the turbine. With this basic concept,
we can determine the speed, discharge and power under unit head.
Unit Speed (N u ):
This is the speed of a turbine working under a unit head
Let N be the speed of tu rbine, H be the head on the turbine and u be the
peripheral velocit y.
We know that the peripheral velocit y u is given b y
u

DN
where D is the mean diameter of the runner which is treated as
60

## constant and N is the speed of the runner,

Henc e u N
But u K u 2 H and hence u H
Hence N H
i.e. N K 1 H , where K 1 is the proportionalit y constant.
From definition of Unit speed, it is the speed of a turbine when working
under unit head. Hence at H=1, N=N u . Substituting, we get

N u K1 1
N Nu H or Nu

N
H

## -------------------------------- ------------------------------ (01)

Unit Discharge (Q u ):
This is the discharge through the turbine working under a unit head

## Consider the Q as the discharge through a turbine. From discharge

continuit y equation, Q = a x V, where a is the cross -sectional area of flow
and V is the mean flow velocit y.
For a given turbine, the cross -sectional area is constant and hence Q V
But V C v 2 g H and hence V H and hence Q H
i.e., Q K 2 H where K 2 is the proportionalit y constant.
From definition of Unit discharge, it is the discharge through the turbine
when working under unit head. Hence at H=1, Q=Q u . Substituti ng, we get

Qu K 2 1
Q Qu H or Qu

Q
H

## -------------------------------- ------------------------------- (02)

Unit Power (P u ):
This is the Power developed b y the turbine working under a unit head
Consider the P as the power developed by the turbine.
We know that the efficie ncy of turbine is given b y

P
QH

## Where is the weight densit y of the fluid/water passing through the

turbine, Q is the discharge through the turbine and H is the head under
which the turbine is working. But efficiency of a turbine and we ight
densit y of water are constants and hence, we can write
P Q H
From discharge continuit y equation, Q = a x V, where a is the cross sectional area of flow and V is the mean flow velocit y.
For a given turbine, the cross -sectional area is constant and he nce Q V
But V C v 2 g H and hence V H and hence Q H
Substituting, we get
P H H or P K 3 H H

## From definition of Unit Power, it is the power developed b y the turbine

when working under unit head. Hence at H=1, P=P u . Substituting, we get

Pu K 3 1 1
P Pu H H or Pu

P
H H

2

## Unit Speed, Unit discharge and Unit Power is definite characteristics of a

turbine.
If for a given turbine under heads H 1 , H 2 , H 3 ,. the corresponding speeds
are N 1 , N 2 , N 3 ,, the corresponding discharge s are Q 1 , Q 2 , Q 3 ,. and the
powers developed are P 1 , P 2 , P 3 ,. Then
Unit speed = N u

N1
H1

Unit Discharge = Qu
Unit Power = Pu

N2

Q1

P1
H H1

N3

Q2

Q3

P3

H2

H1

H2

P2
H H2

H3

H3

H H3

or Pu

P1
3

H1 2

P2
3

H2 2

P3
3

H3 2

## Thus if speed, discharge and power developed b y a turbine under a certain

head are known, the corresponding quantities for an y other head can be
determined.
Specific Speed of a Turbine (N s )
The specific speed of a turbine is the speed at which the turbine will run
when developing unit power under a unit head. This is the t ype
characteristics of a turbine. For a set of geometricall y similar turbines the
specific speed will have the same value.
Consi der the P as the power developed by the turbine.
We know that the efficiency of turbine is given b y

P
QH

## Where is the weight densit y of the fluid/water passing through the

turbine, Q is the discharge through the turbine and H is the h ead under

## which the turbine is working. But efficiency of a turbine and weight

densit y of water are constants and hence, we can write

b
D

D
P Q H
Discharge is given by the product of cross sectional area of flow and the
flow velocit y. Cross sectional area is d b and hence
Q = D b Vf
But V C v 2 g H and hence V H
And u K u 2 H and hence u H
Further, the peripheral velocit y is given by
DN
where D is the mean diameter of t he runner.
60
From the above two equations of u, we can write that
u

DN H

H
N
But in turbines the width of flow area b is proportional to the diameter D.

or D

## Hence D b, with which

b

H
N
H H
H
N N

Hence P
5

H 2
or P 2
N
5

H 2
H 2
or N
K
P
P
2

Simplifying further

N K

But from the definition of specific speed, it is the speed of a turbine when
it is working under unit head developing unit power. Hence when H = 1
and P = 1. N = N s . Hence

Ns K

and K N s

Substituting we get

N Ns
or N s

N P
H

Examination questions
Dec/Jan 07
Define unit power, unit speed, unit discharge and specific speed with
reference to h ydraulic turbines . Derive expressions for these terms. (06)

July 06
Derive expressions for specific speed of a turbine

(06)

## A turbine is to operate under a head of 25 m at 200 rpm. The discharge is

9 m 3 /s. If the efficiency is 90 %, determine :
i) Power generated

## ii) Speed and Power at a head of 20 m.

(07)

Jan 06
What is specific speed of a turbine and ex plain its significance

(04)

Jan 05
Define and derive an expression for specific speed of a turbine, indicating
its significance.

(08)

Define the terms unit po wer, unit speed and unit discharge with reference
to a h ydraulic turbine. Also give the expressions for these terms

(06)

July 04
Define specific speed of a h ydraulic turbine. Derive an equation for
specific speed in terms of operating speed, power and head

(08)

Dec/Jan 07
Suggest a suitable type of a turbine to develop 7000 kW power under a
head of 20 m, while operating at 220 rpm. What are the considerations fo r

(04)

Solution:
P = 7000 kW; H = 20 m; N = 220 rpm.
We know that speci fic speed of a turbine is given b y

Ns

N P
H

Substituting , we get

Ns

220 7000
20

435 rpm

As the specific speed is between 300 and 1000, Kaplan turbine can be
suggested .
Jan 06
A turbine is to operate under a head of 25 m at 200 rpm. The disc harge is
9 m 3 /s. If the efficiency is 90%, determine the performance of the turbin e
under a head of 20 m

(08)

Solution:
H 1 = 25 m; N 1 = 200 rpm; Q = 9 m 3 /s; = 0.90, H 2 = 20 m; N 2 = ?; Q 2 = ?
P 1 = ?, P 2 = ?
We know that

P
QH

0.9

P
10 1000 9 25

P 1 = 2025 kW
Further unit quantities are given b y
Unit speed = N u

N1
H1

N2
H2

Unit Discharge = Qu
Unit Power = Pu

P1
3

Q1
H1

H1 2
Nu

200

25

N2
20

Q2
H2

P2
3

H2 2

40

## N 2 = 178.9 rpm (Ans)

Qu

9
25

Q2
20

1.8

Q 2 = 8.05 m 3 /s (Ans)

Pu

2025
25

P2
20

16.2
2

P 2 = 1449 kW (Ans)
July 04
Suggest a suitable type of turbine to develop 7500 kW of power under a
head of 25 m, while operating at 220 rpm. If the same turbine has to work
under a head of 10 m, what power would devel op? What would be the new
speed?

(12)

Solution:
P 1 = 7500 kW; H 1 = 25 m; N 1 = 220 rpm; H 2 = 10 ; P 2 = ? ; N 2 = ?
We know that specific speed of a turbine is given b y

Ns

N P
H

Substituting , we get

Ns

220 7500
25

340.8 rpm

As the speci fic speed is between 300 and 1000, Kaplan turbine can be
suggested .
Further unit quantities are given b y

Unit speed = N u

N1

Unit Power = Pu

P1

H1
3

H1 2
Nu

220
25

N2
10

N2
H2

P2
3

H2 2

44

N 2 = 139.14 (Ans)

Pu

7500
25

P2
10

60
2

P 2 = 1897.4 kW (Ans)