Introduction of Kaplan turbine
The Kaplan turbine is an inward flow reaction turbine, which means
that the working fluid changes pressure as it moves through the
turbine and gives up its energy. Power is recovered from both the
hydrostatic head and from the kinetic energy of the flowing water.
The design combines features of radial and axial turbines. Its main
parts usually include Blades, hub, main shaft, runner cone,
Kaplan turbines are now widely used throughout the world in
high-flow, low-head power production. The Kaplan turbine was an
evolution of the Francis turbine. Its invention allowed efficient
power production in low-head applications that was not possible
with Francis turbines.
According to whether the runner blade is movable or not in
operation, it is divided into two categories: axial movable-blade
type and axial fixed-blade type.
Application scope of heads: 10m~70m
Runner diameters: 2.0m~11.0m
Installable capacity: 500KW ~ 200000KW
Specific ratio speed: 200 ~ 850
Reference pictures of Kaplan turbine
The blades of axial fixed-blade turbine are fixed on runner hub.
The place angle of blades cannot be changed in operation. As its
efficiency curve is relatively steep, it is suitable for small load
change or the station to adjust the running amount of the units in
order to adapt to the load variation. It has the advantages of
simple structure and low cost, while the disadvantage is that its
efficiency will decline sharply when deviating from the design
condition. According to its characteristics, the axial fixed-blade
turbine is commonly used in the hydropower station with small
output, low water head and small head variations. The axial
fixed-blade turbine has larger flow capacity and the improved
cavitation performance than axial movable-blade turbine, but it
cannot meet the requirements of the hydropower stations whose head
and load change is too big. Its specific ratio speeds are 250~700
and applicable heads are 3~50m.
Axial movable-blade turbine is also called Kaplan Turbine, its
blades is usually operated by the oil pressure relay installed in
the runner hug and can be turned according to head and load changes
in order to keep the optimal coordination between the activity of
the guide vane angle and the blade angle to enhance average
efficiency. The maximum efficiency of this kind of turbine have
been more than 94%. Its has the advantages of small size and light
weight, while the disadvantage is easily limited flow capacity when
available head increases, large cavitation coefficient, complicated
structure, high cost. The axial movable-blade turbine is commonly
used in the large and medium-sized hydropower station with output
and head vary widely. Its specific speed is up to 200~850, which
applies to the station of low head (3~80m) and large load change.
Characteristics of Kaplan turbine
Except for the runner, other components of axial turbine are
similar to the mixed-flow turbine.
1. Characteristics of axial turbine
1) High speed which is 2 times of mixed-flow turbine when H and N
is the same, small size.
2) The runner blades can turn (double adjustment), the turbine has
high efficiency when H and N change.
2. Structure of runner: axial movable-blade turbine is usually used
in large hydropower station with low head and large discharge.
* Main Parts: Blades, hub, main shaft, runner cone, rotating mechanism.
* Blade: Curved surface, airfoil section, thick root, thin edge to bear
the torque of water flow.
* Amount of blades: Related to H, generally 4~8 pieces.
* Blade rotating angle F: F=0°; when optimum operating condition,
the blades begin to turn when F>0, the blades turn to close when
* Hub: Connected with blades externally, installed rotating mechanism
* Rotating mechanism: It is installed inside the hub, controlled by
governor, high-speed guide vane angle.