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Hydraulic turbines extract energy from the gravitational potential of water sources

or from the kinetic energy of flowing water or from a combination of the two.

These turbines are generally classified as either impulse or reaction. Reaction

turbines are further classified as radial and mixed-flow (Francis) turbines or as

axial-flow or propeller turbines.

Efficiency generally governs which turbine type is selected. Figure 16.141 plots

efficiency against specific speed (Ns) for the three turbine types.

ne gpm

Ns = 3

h4

efficiency.

1

Finnemore, E.J. and Franzini, J.B., Fluid Mechanics with Engineering Applications, 10 ed., p. 707,

McGraw Hill, 2002.

1

IMPULSE TURBINES (See Figure 16.1 and 16.3, Finnemore)2

Impulse turbines operate under relatively high heads and low flow rates. One or

more nozzles convert available energy into kinetic energy, most of which is

transferred to buckets attached to a rotating wheel (runner). The resulting shaft

torque drives a generator or other machinery. Windage, fluid friction, turbulence,

separation and leakage cause the principal losses.

• Nozzle Design

V0 Vi1

Figure 1

2

Id., p. 686.

2

The ideal exit velocity, Vi1, is calculated from the Bernoulli equation:

P0 V02 P1 Vi12

+ + z0 = + + z1

γ 2g λ 2g

friction and turbulence. Cv varies from about 0.95 (needle valve partly closed) to

0.99 (needle valve fully opened).3

V1 = CvVi1

The actual quantity rate is obtained by multiplying the ideal rate by a discharge

coefficient, Cd. The discharge coefficient is the product of the velocity coefficient

and the contraction coefficient, Cc, (ratio of area of emerging jet to the area of the

nozzle at the discharge point). The value of Cc is about 0.94.4

Q = Cd AV

1 1

Where : Cd = Cc Cv

• Nozzle Dimensions

The nozzle diameter at discharge is made about 20% greater than the calculated

diameter of the jet. The nozzle should terminate in a cone of 30-45°.5

• Rotational Velocity

Calculate rpm from the specific speed that results in reasonable efficiency.

Guidelines follow:

1000 5.0 – 5.5

2000 4.0 – 5.0

n W&shaft

ns =

H 5/ 4

Where: n = rpm; W&shaft = shaft horsepower; H = turbine head, ft. If the turbine

drives a generator select a rotational velocity equal to the nearest synchronous

speed calculated from:

3

Id., p. 695.

4

Id., Figure 11.13, p. 506.

5

Marks’ Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers, 8 ed,, p. 9-145, McGraw-Hill, 1978.

3

120 f

n=

p

p = number of poles

similar to that for the centrifugal pump.6

1840φ H

• Dp =

n

experience.

V1,ideal = 2U

Because V2 must be greater than zero, however, U is decreased somewhat.

Let β 2 be the angle through which the water is turned relative to the bucket. For

maximum work, β 2 = 180 ; however, to prevent water from striking the

0

6

See class notes, “Centrifugal Pump Design,” equation (13), p. 5.

7

Marks’ p. 9-144.

4

• Bucket Shape and Dimensions8

sharp-edged “splitter” divides the flow, one-half going to either side.

Width - B = 3d

Depth - D = 0.85d

Length -L = 2.6d

Vθ 1 = V1 = U + W1 Vθ 2 = U + W2 cos β ∆Vθ = Vθ 2 − Vθ 1

W&= mU

& ∆Vθ

Where: Vθ = tangential velocity

U = peripheral velocity

m&= mass flow rate

W&= power

8

Id., Figure 14, p. 9-145.

9

Finnemore, p. 688.

5

6

REACTION (FRANCIS) TURBINES

(See Figures 16.8 and 16.11, Finnemore)

analogous to a centrifugal pump. Wicket gates that direct the flow and control the

power and speed surround the runner. The water enters the turbine through a

spiral scroll casing with a changing area to keep the entering velocity constant.

The usual range for available head is 75-1600 feet; for specific speed, 15-100.

• Design

The turbine buckets are tangent to the entering relative velocity at the tip. They

are designed to leave without appreciable tangential velocity (whirl). Thus, the

exit term in Euler’s equation can be neglected, and the angle between the exiting

absolute velocity and the tangent, α 2 , can be set at 90°. Refer to Figure 2 for the

velocity triangles. The power equation becomes:

• W&= mUV

& θ1

V1

W1 W2

Vr1 V2=Vr2

U U

Figure 2

• Selection of Speed

Considerations of efficiency, cavitation and structural strength, however, place an

upper practical limit on speed.

Figure 16.14 (see page 1) plots efficiency against specific speed (Ns) for the three

principal turbine types. Figure 16.16 (following page) plots specific speed against

maximum effective head (h). To select a practical speed, enter Figure 16.16 with

maximum effective head and draft head and select the highest specific speed

outside of the cavitation region. Then calculate the resulting rpm. Enter Figure

16.14 to estimate efficiency. Select the nearest synchronous speed corresponding

to the value calculated from specific speed.

7

• Selection of Runner Diameter

The runner diameter is determined from a formula similar to that for the

centrifugal pump.10

1840φe h

D=

ne

Figure 16.14.

55

z=

n1/s 3

The usual range is 21 for low and 12 for high specific speed. Refer to Marks’ for

other runner dimensions.

• Draft Tubes

10

See class notes, “Centrifugal Pump Design,” equation (13), p. 5.

11

Marks’ , p. 9-141.

8

After passing through the turbine, the water enters a draft tube, Figure 16.11,

(page 6). The purpose of this tube, which is an integral part of the turbine design,

is threefold:

1) To permit the turbine to be set above the tailwater level without loss of

head.

2) To recover a reasonable amount of the kinetic energy leaving the runner by

diffuser action.

3) To facilitate inspection and maintenance.

Note that the pressure at the upper end of the draft tube is below atmospheric thus

limiting the height above the tailwater because of cavitation considerations. The

velocity at the upstream end of the tube ranges from 24 to 30 ft/s; at the lower

end, 5-7 ft/s. The included angle of the diffuser tube should be kept reasonably

small, say 8-12°, to limit losses due to separation. Typical loss coefficients are:12

8° 0.23

12° 0.33

( V −V )

2

hL =K 1 2

2g

Where: K = Loss Coefficient and numerals 1 and 2 refer to entering and leaving stations.

12

Finnemore, Figure 8.20, p. 310.

9

10

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