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Insight for in-situ machinists: How a Francis turbine works 


If you've worked on machining projects at power plants you may have heard of the Francis turbine. These are the most preferred type of turbine used in the hydro power sector. But how much do you really know about how they work?  The video above created by Learn Engineering does a great job in demonstrating the principles and workings behind this mainstay of the power generation industry. 

If you've got 4 minutes to watch the video, you'll get a good understanding what's goes on in inside the tubine. The key takeaway points are listed below:

  • Francis Turbines are the most preferred type of hydraulic turbine
  • This is because they are capable of working efficiently under a wide range of operating conditions
  • The runner includes complex shaped airfoil sectioned blades
  • Water enters the turbine radially and leaves axially
  • Lift force and impulse force make the runner rotate
  • Stay vanes (fixed), and guide vanes (adjustable), convert the pressure energy to kinetic energy
  • The runner is connected via a shaft to the electricity generator at the top of the turbine
  • The guide vanes are adjusted to synchronise power generation with electricity demand
  • The draft tube converts velocity head to static head

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