Classification of Turbines

Are you looking to know about the Classification of turbines?

Then you landed in the right place. Here you will learn types of turbine, from scratch to end.

Before I start, here is the surprise for you.

At the end of the article, you will get this whole article as a types of turbine pdf and classification of turbines ppt.

So, without further wasting your time, let’s get started from scratch…

What is Turbine?

A turbine is a mechanical device that is used to produce continuous mechanical power in which there is a wheel or rotor typically fitted with vanes.

The water, gas, steam, air and other fluid strike on the vanes to produce power, this type of machine is called a turbine.


After knowing the basic definition of the turbine, let’s dwell on the mainstream of this session.

Classification of Turbines-

Here are some basic types of turbines-

  • Water turbine
  • Steam turbine
  • Gas turbine
  • Wind turbine

Water turbine-

A rotary mechanism that converts the kinetic energy of water into mechanical energy, is known as a water turbine. Basically changing of energy happens with the help of water, that’s why it’s known as a water turbine.

Water turbines basically classified into two types –

  • Impulse turbine 
  • Reaction turbine 

Related Article: Working principle of Impulse and Reaction Turbine

Impulse Turbine-

High force fluid travels through a narrow nozzle and strikes turbine blades to make them rotate. That’s the basic mechanism of an impulse turbine.

The bucket shape blade is mounted in the impulse turbine to grab the maximum amount of fluid at a certain angle when high-speed fluid is struck on the blade through the stationary nozzle.

impulse turbine

Impulse turbine is further classified into two categories-

  • Pelton turbine
  • Cross-flow turbine

Pelton turbine-

Pelton turbine is invented by Lester Ella Pelton in 1870 and it is used for high head, low flow power plants.

Spoon-shaped bucket is mounted on the turbine runner to redirect the forceful, high-speed water exerting from the nozzle to rotate the drive wheel against the rotary series.

When the high-speed water hits the buckets blades, blades start to move in the anti-clock direction.

Pelton wheel operates best with a drop height of 50-2000m and flow rate of 4-15m3/s.


Cross-flow turbine-

The Crossflow turbine is developed by Anthony Michel in 1903 and it is used in low heads usually 10-70 meters with a power output of 5-100kW.

This turbine gets the energy by reducing the velocity of water but the pressure remains the same and that’s why cross-flow turbines are a good example of impulse turbines.


Reaction Turbine-

Reaction turbines are those that generate torque by reacting to pressure or accelerating water flow.

As the name suggests, a Reaction turbine works on the principle of reaction force which can be experienced by the turbine blades when water flows over them.

In the reaction turbine, the first set of blades are fixed and they convert water pressure energy into kinetic energy.

Water then moves through the moving or runner blades. The moving blades have the shape of an aero-foil.

When waterfall over it, because of its shape there is a reduction in pressure and also change in velocity and hence water exerts force indirectly on the blades and this force rotates the turbine blades.


The commonly used Reaction turbines are-

  • Francis Turbine
  • Kaplan Turbine

Francis Turbine- 

The main components of the Francis turbine are-

  • Volute casing
  • Runner blades
  • Guide vanes
  • Draft tube

From the cashing, water falls through the guide vanes, Blade are arranged periphery to guide the water to the runner blades.

Through the guide vanes, water enters radially into rotor blades. The runner of the Francis turbine has special construction.

When the water enters radially, it starts rotating because of the pressure difference created by the aero-foil structure.

During the process, the entire pressure energy of water is converted into kinetic energy so the water after passing the runner process at low pressure.

The kinetic energy is also converted by the reduction in velocity when it flows over the blades. It is the net pressure difference from the inlet to the outlet which determines the energy from the turbine.

francis turbine

Kaplan Turbine-

In the Kaplan turbine, Water enters through the casing and flows through the guide blade.

Water enters into the runner blades in the axial portion. The runner blades are designed in specific aero-foil structures like the Francis turbine.

But the shape of the blade is a bit differently. The blades are a bit lengthy and curved.

Water hits the runner blade and exhales the thrust on it. This causes its rotation. The water after imparting the energy. then water flows axially out of the turbine and into the draft tube.

Kaplan turbine was designed by V. Kaplan, an engineer from Germany in 1913.kaplan turbine

Steam Turbine-

Steam turbines basically convert thermal energy in steam into mechanical energy and are further used to generate electricity.

It was invented by Sir Charles persons in 1884.

steam turbineWhen the high-energy fluid passes over the airfoil structure. This creates a pressure difference and subsequently creates lift force and is further converted into mechanical energy.

Flow Energy → Mechanical Energy

The essential material used to generate steam in turbines is basically coal and nuclear fuel to further generate electricity in thermal power plants.

Gas Turbine-

A gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of internal combustion engine. Fresh atmospheric air flows through a compressor that brings it to higher pressure.

Energy is then added by spraying fuel into the air and igniting it so the combustion generates a high-temperature flow.

Natural Gas → Mechanical Energy

Natural gas or liquid fluid is converted into mechanical energy using gas turbines and further mechanical energy is used to generate electricity to light up homes and businesses and even to power aircraft, trains, ships, electrical generators and even tanks.

gas turbine

Wind Turbine-

As the name suggests, the generation of power using wind or a wind turbine is a device that converts kinetic energy from the wind into electrical power.

The basic principle of wind energy is simple- A series of sails and blades mounted around the rotor catch the wind and translate its kinetic energy into rotational energy and thus creating electricity.

Wind turbine

”The wind is an untamed and unharnessed force”


Wrapping up-

That’s it from my side. I hope you liked the way this article is presented to you and further satisfy your knowledge need in an easy way.

If so, consider sharing with your friends, colleagues or needy ones. Bookmark Engineers Rail, for further convenient reading.

Want to read more? Here are some suggested articles, you should read further-

Thank you for being with me. I hope to see you in the next session.


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