Operating Principle of a Pelton Turbine

Operating Principle of a Pelton Turbine for Educational Laboratory.

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Operating Principle of a Pelton Turbine

Transparent operating area1

* Adjustable nozzle cross-section1

* Loading by band brake


Water turbines are turbomachines utilising water power. The Pelton turbine is part of the free-jet turbines resp. impulse turbines which convert the pressure energy of water into kinetic energy entirely in the control device. During the conversion, the water jet is accelerated in a nozzle and directed onto the vanes of the Pelton wheel tangential. The water jet is redirected by approximately 180° in the vanes. The impulse of the water jet is transmitted to the Pelton wheel.

Operating Principle of a Pelton Turbine is the model of a Pelton turbine demonstrating the function of an impulse turbine.

The experimental unit consists of the Pelton wheel, a needle nozzle used as control device, a band brake for loading the turbine and a housing with a transparent front panel. The transparent cover enables you to observe the water flow, the wheel and the nozzle during operation. You can modify the nozzle cross-section and thus the flow rate by adjusting the nozzle needle.

The turbine torque is determined by force measurement on a band brake and is read on spring balances. For measuring the rotational speed, a non-contact speed sensor, e.g., A manometer shows the water pressure at the turbine inlet.

The experimental unit is positioned on the working surface of the Base Module in a simple and safe manner. The water supply and flow rate measurement are provided. Alternatively, the experimental unit can be supplied by the laboratory supply.

The well-structured instructional material sets out the fundamentals and provides a step-by-step guide through the experiments.

Learning Objectives / Experiment

-Design and function of a Pelton turbine

-Determination of torque, power and efficiency

-Graphical representation of characteristic curves for torque, power and efficiency


1.  Function of a Pelton turbine

2.  Transparent front panel for observing the operating area

3.  Loading the turbine by use of the band brake

4.  Adjustable nozzle needle for setting different nozzle cross-sections

5.  Marking on brake drum for non-contact speed measurement

6.  Instruments: spring balances for determining the torque, manometer shows pressure at turbine inlet

7.  Flow rate determination  Base Module

8.  Water supply using Base Module or via laboratory supply

Technical Data

Pelton Turbine

- output: 5W at 500min-1, approx. 30L/min, H=2m

- impeller

14 vanes

vane width: 33,5mm

external diameter: 132mm

Needle Nozzle

- jet diameter: 10mm

Measuring Ranges

- braking force (spring balance): 10N

- pressure: 0…1bar

Dimensions and Weight

LxWxH: 400x400x620mm

Weight: approx. 15kg

Required for Operation

Closed water circuit  or water supply, drainage