A revolving machine called a water turbine generates mechanical work by utilizing the potential and kinetic energy of water. Water turbines were a common source of industrial power before the creation of electrical grids. They now work primarily in the generation of power. Water turbines are often used in dams in order to harness the potential energy of water. A water turbine’s turbine blades must be extremely strong and resistant to corrosion due to the constant exposure to water and dynamic loads.
The most popular austenitic steel alloys used as overlays over carbon steel runners in water turbines are those containing 17–20% chromium because they boost the film’s stability and aqueous corrosion resistance. These steel alloys have more chromium than the required minimum of 20% for some air corrosion resistance. The longer turbine blade lifespan is made possible by the steel alloys’ higher chromium content.
The blades are currently made of martensitic stainless steel, which is two times as robust as austenitic stainless steel. In addition to corrosion resistance and strength, other criteria for material selection include weldability and the density of the turbine blade. Greater weldability simplifies turbine blade repairs. This enables higher-quality welds, which result in better repair. Because lighter blades rotate more easily, using a material with a low density will boost efficiency.
The available water head and not the flow rate determines which turbine is best. Impulse turbines are usually used for high head sites, whereas reaction turbines are usually used for low head sites. Kaplan turbines with adjustable blade pitch are particularly suited to a variety of flow or head conditions because their maximum efficiency can be attained throughout a wide range of flow conditions. Horizontal shafts can be found in both small turbines, typically under 10 MW, and even rather big bulb-type turbines, up to 100 MW or so.
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Video resource: Modern Creative