Topics: Turbine, Water turbine, Hydroelectricity Pages: 5 (1453 words) Published: June 19, 2013
The Pelton wheel is a water impulse turbine. It was invented by Lester Allan Pelton in the 1870s. The Pelton wheel extracts energy from the impulse of moving water, as opposed to its weight like traditional overshot water wheel. Although many variations of impulse turbines existed prior to Pelton's design, they were less efficient than Pelton's design; the water leaving these wheels typically still had high speed, and carried away much of the energy. Pelton's paddle geometry was designed so that when the rim runs at ½ the speed of the water jet, the water leaves the wheel with very little speed, extracting almost all of its energy, and allowing for a very efficient turbine. Contents  [hide]  * 1 Function * 2 Applications * 3 Design rules * 4 Turbine physics and derivation * 4.1 Energy and initial jet velocity * 4.2 Final jet velocity * 4.3 Optimal wheel speed * 4.4 Torque * 4.5 Power * 4.6 Efficiency * 5 System components * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links| -------------------------------------------------

Function
The water flows along the tangent to the path of the runner. Nozzles direct forceful streams of water against a series of spoon-shaped buckets mounted around the edge of a wheel. As water flows into the bucket, the direction of the water velocity changes to follow the contour of the bucket. When the water-jet contacts the bucket, the water exerts pressure on the bucket and the water is decelerated as it does a "u-turn" and flows out the other side of the bucket at low velocity. In the process, the water's momentum is transferred to the turbine. This "impulse" does work on the turbine. For maximum power and efficiency, the turbine system is designed such that the water-jet velocity is twice the velocity of the bucket. A very small percentage of the water's original kinetic energy will still remain in the water; however, this allows the bucket to be emptied at the same rate it is filled, (see conservation of mass), thus allowing the water flow to continue uninterrupted. Often two buckets are mounted side-by-side, thus splitting the water jet in half (see photo). This balances the side-load forces on the wheel, and helps to ensure smooth, efficient momentum transfer of the fluid jet to the turbine wheel. Because water and most liquids are nearly incompressible, almost all of the available energy is extracted in the first stage of the hydraulic turbine. Therefore, Pelton wheels have only one turbine stage, unlike gas turbines that operate with compressible fluid. -------------------------------------------------

Applications
Pelton wheels are the preferred turbine for hydro-power, when the available water source has relatively high hydraulic head at low flow rates, where the Pelton wheel is most efficient. Thus, more power can be extracted from a water source with high-pressure and low-flow than from a source with low-pressure and high-flow, even when the two flows theoretically contain the same power. Also a comparable amount of pipe material is required for each of the two sources, one requiring a long thin pipe, and the other a short wide pipe. Pelton wheels are made in all sizes. There exist multi-ton Pelton wheels mounted on vertical oil pad bearings in hydroelectric plants. The largest units can be up to 200 megawatts. The smallest Pelton wheels are only a few inches across, and can be used to tap power from mountain streams having flows of a few gallons per minute. Some of these systems utilize householdplumbing fixtures for water delivery. These small units are recommended for use with thirty meters or more of head, in order to generate significant power levels. Depending on water flow and design, Pelton wheels operate best with heads from 15 meters to 1,800 meters, although there is no theoretical limit. -------------------------------------------------

Design rules
The specific speed  of a turbine dictates the turbine's...

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