Kaplan turbine and electrical generator cut-away view.

A water turbine is a rotary engine that takes energy from moving water.


Water turbines were developed in the nineteenth century and were widely used for industrial power. Now they are mostly used for electric power generation. All common water machines until the late 19th century (including water wheels) were reaction machines; water pressure head acted on the machine and produced work. A reaction turbine needs to fully contain the water during energy transfer.

Energy sourse[]

They harness a clean and renewable energy source.

New concept[]

A new concept is a Pelton wheel.

Inspired by the high pressure jet systems used in hydraulic mining in the gold fields, someone 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.

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