The turbine is an essential component of all the machines we use. It works on the mechanism of converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. Usually, a turbine is attached to a shaft from one end, and its opposite end has a generator. The rotational force of a turbine is transferred to the generator which converts it into electrical energy. The generator is connected to the cables that carry the electricity for consumption.
The importance of the turbine is accepted widely, and that is why it is used in different types of industries. The mechanism incorporated by a turbine for electricity generation is very reliable. That is why the turbine has been in use for centuries. There are different designs of turbines available according to the scope of their usage. We will discuss different types of turbines in this blog.
Types of Turbines According to Mechanism:
The impulse turbine has a flat stator and curved rotor to channel the energy efficiently. It is capable of channeling kinetic energy to be converted into electrical energy. In an impulse turbine, the incoming energy is directly received by the rotating blades. The pressure of the energy source remains stagnant while passing through the blades. Due to the symmetrical shape of the rotors, an impulse turbine can generate power quickly.
For all the low discharge applications like steam power plants, impulse turbine is the ideal choice. It also does not require regular maintenance.
Both the rotor and the stator used in a reaction turbine are semi-curved in shape. Due to the non-symmetrical shape of the blade, a reaction turbine cannot rely only on kinetic energy. It also requires pressure to start the rotation of the blades for channeling mechanical energy. The pressure of the energy source decreases while passing through the blades.
Reaction turbines are best for high discharge applications like wind power plants. Unlike impulse turbines, reaction turbines require regular maintenance.
Types of Turbines According to Application:
The water turbine is also known as a hydraulic turbine. Its mechanism is based on the conversion of the kinetic energy of water to electrical energy. Initially, the water is stored at a height so that it possesses the potential energy. The potential energy of water converts into kinetic energy while falling. This kinetic energy is transferred to the turbine blades on striking. A generator is connected to the turbine that produces electricity.
There are different types of water turbines based on their rotational and energy channeling capabilities. Water turbines provide a highly reliable mechanism for the generation of electricity.
- No environmental hazards are associated with the working of a water turbine.
- The electricity produced through a water turbine is clean and can be used for a variety of functionalities.
- The energy source used in a water turbine is renewable, making it a sustainable mechanism for power production.
- The working of a hydro turbine is efficient without any uncertainty.
- Creating the setup for the working of a hydro turbine is time-consuming and costly.
- The hydro turbine is prone to corrosion and requires regular maintenance.
The mechanism of a wind turbine is not very different from that of a hydro turbine. However, unlike hydro turbines, wind turbine uses wind as an energy source. A wind turbine contains propellers for accepting wind energy. The propellers start rotating when the wind strikes them, and their rotational force is dependent on the technology. Usually, the rotors of an average wind turbine are capable of producing rotation of 15 to 20 rpm.
The speed of wind also affects the rotation of the rotors. That is the reason why mostly the wind turbines are set up near the shoreline. There are two types of wind turbines; horizontal axis and vertical axis. A horizontal-axis turbine has three or more rotors that can be adjusted according to the direction of the wind. The vertical-axis turbine can receive wind energy from all directions and does not need adjustment.
- Wind turbines are not dependent on fossil fuels, which is why their running cost is low.
- The energy source used in wind turbines is renewable.
- Wind turbines are environment-friendly.
- The set-up cost of a wind turbine is high.
- A wind turbine is fully dependent on wind and cannot operate efficiently without it.
A steam turbine works by converting the thermal energy into mechanical energy. A pressurized hose is used to eject steam on the turbine which starts rotating. The rotational force of the rotors is directly proportional to the pressure of the steam. A generator connected to the turbine converts the mechanical energy into electricity.
There are different types of steam turbines based on different parameters like steam pressure, exhaust condition, and mechanism.
- A steam turbine can generate a high quantity of electricity.
- Steam turbines do not require a lot of operational space.
- The quantity of steam required for running the turbine does not increase over time.
- The steam turbines can be designed according to the requirement of power generation.
- A steam turbine performs efficiently based on all the thermodynamic parameters.
- A steam turbine is dependent on water reservoirs.
- Steam turbines take a long time to startup.
Just like a steam turbine, a gas turbine also converts thermal energy into mechanical energy. But the gas turbines use thermal energy of gas to run the rotors. A gas turbine is placed on a shaft that is connected to a combustor and compressor. The efficiency of the turbine is dependent on the pressure and volume of the gas. The pressure of the gas can be adjusted by using durable butterfly valves.
- The small size of the gas turbine can produce a large amount of power.
- Gas turbines have minimal vibrations and produce less sound.
- The adaptability of a gas turbine according to the power requirement, is low.
- The mechanism of a gas turbine is complex.
Turbines are divided into several types based on different parameters. Learning their different types will give you a better understanding of how they work on different applications.