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How Do Water Turbines Work?

Shaft Extension Tubular Turbine-Generator Unit

Most hydropower plants use turbine to generate the electricity. People may wonder what is water turbine? How does a turbine work to generate electricity from flowing water?

Water turbine is a rotary machine that converts kinetic energy and potential energy of water into mechanical work. It is a wheel with blades which can be turned by flowing water, such as following pictures:

how hydropower works

Based on the exact plant request and energy needs, most turbine are customized, there are many different types of water turbines designs, including Turgo Turbine, Pelton Turbine, Francis Turbine, Kaplan Turbine and Cross-flow Turbine(also called Michael Banki Turbine or Ossberger Turbine) etc. When you need a turbine for your plant, please tell the supplier more technical data, like the turbine type, design head, design flow and quantity of unit etc.

According to above pictures, we can see that electricity generation needs some necessary components: dam, generator, turbine, reservoir and transmission lines. Before the hydro plant starts to generate electricity, they will open the dam gate, the water in the reservoir will flow through the turbine, the turbine blades would turn according to the flowing water energy which would change water energy to mechanical energy, as the generator is connected with turbine, it will turn according to the turbine, then produce electrical energy. The transmission lines will carry electricity to homes and businesses, the whole process is done.

Moreover, to ensure the whole turbine working process smoothly and safety, different designs of control systems will be used for the turbine and generator, like the governor, excitation etc.

If you have any questions or inquiry, you can leave us message here or view for more detail.

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3 Responses


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Aug 12,2020

how to manage a hydropower station

Jan 26,2019

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reply:thanks for your support.

May 07,2017

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