Turbine, rotary engine that converts the energy of a moving stream of water, steam, or gas into mechanical energy. The basic element in a turbine is a wheel or rotor with paddles, propellers, blades, or buckets arranged on its circumference in such a fashion that the moving fluid exerts a tangential force that turns the wheel and imparts energy to it. This mechanical energy is then transferred through a drive shaft to operate a machine, compressor, electric generator, or propeller. Turbines are classified as hydraulic, or water, turbines, steam turbines, or gas turbines. Today turbine-powered generators produce most of the world's electrical energy. Windmills that generate electricity are known as wind turbines (see Windmill).

Hydraulic Turbines

The oldest and simplest form of the hydraulic turbine was the waterwheel, first used in ancient Greece and subsequently adopted in most of ancient and medieval Europe for grinding grain. It consisted of a vertical shaft with a set of radial vanes or paddles positioned in a swiftly flowing stream or millrace. Its power output was about 0.5 horsepower. The horizontal-shaft waterwheel (that is, a horizontal shaft connected to a vertical paddle wheel), first described by the Roman architect and engineer Marcus Vitruvius Pollio during the 1st century BC, had the lower segment of the paddle wheel inserted into the stream, thus acting as a so-called undershot waterwheel. By about the 2nd century AD, the more efficient overshot wheel had come into use in hilly regions. Here the water was poured on the paddles from above, and additional energy was gained from the falling water. The maximum power of the waterwheel, which was constructed of wood, increased from about 3 horsepower to about 50 horsepower in the Middle Ages.

The transition from waterwheel to turbine is largely semantic. The first important attempt to formulate a theoretical basis for waterwheel design was in the 18th century by the British civil engineer John Smeaton, who proved that the overshot wheel was more efficient. The French military engineer Jean Victor Poncelet, however, devised an undershot wheel, the curved blades of which raised efficiency to nearly 70 percent; it quickly came into wide use. Another French military engineer, Claude Burdin, invented the term turbine, introduced as part of a theoretical discussion in which he stressed speed of rotation. Benoit Fourneyron, who studied under Burdin at the School of Mines at St. Étienne, designed and built wheels that achieved speeds of 60 or more rpm (revolutions per minute) and provided up to 50 horsepower for French ironworks. Ultimately Fourneyron built turbines that operated at 2300 rpm, developing 60 horsepower at an efficiency of more than 80 percent.

Despite its remarkable efficiency, the Fourneyron turbine had certain drawbacks as a result of the radial outward flow of water that passed through it. This created problems if water flow was reduced or load removed. The British-born American engineer James B. Francis designed a turbine in which the flow was inward, and the so-called reaction, or Francis, turbine, became the most widely used hydraulic turbine for water pressures, or heads, equivalent to a column of water 10 to 100 m (33 to 330 ft). This type of turbine operates by expanding the pressure energy in the water during the flow through the blade passages, resulting in a net force, or reaction, which has a tangential component that turns the wheel.

For installations where water heads of about 90 to 900 m (about 300 to 3000 ft) were available, the Pelton wheel, named after the American engineer Lester Allen Pelton, came into use during the second half of the 19th century. In this turbine, the water is piped from a high-level reservoir through a long duct, or penstock, to a nozzle where its energy is converted into the kinetic energy of a high-speed jet. This jet is then directed onto curved buckets, which turn the flow by nearly 180 degrees and extract the momentum. Because the action of the Pelton wheel depends on the impulse of the jet on the wheel, rather than on the reaction of the expanding water, this type of turbine is also known as an impulse turbine.

The increasing demand for hydroelectric power during the early 20th century led to the need for a turbine suitable for small water heads of 3 to 9 m (about 10 to 30 ft) that could be employed in many rivers where low dams could be built. In 1913 the Austrian engineer Viktor Kaplan first proposed his propeller (or Kaplan) turbine, which basically acts like a ship's propeller in reverse. Kaplan later improved his turbine by allowing the blades to swivel about their axis. These variable pitch propellers improved efficiency by optimally matching the blade angle to the head, or flow rate.

To maintain constant output voltage in a hydroelectric installation, the turbine speed must be kept constant regardless of variations in the water pressure acting on it. This requires extensive controls that, for both Francis and Kaplan turbines, act primarily to open or close the guide-vane passages to regulate the flow and, in the case of Kaplan turbines, to vary the pitch of the propellers. In a Pelton wheel installation, the water flow is adjusted by opening or closing the supply nozzles. Here a temporary spill bypass nozzle has to be provided since rapid flow changes in long penstocks would induce pressure surges, called water hammers, which can be highly destructive. During adjustments, the total water flow through both the supply and spill nozzles must be kept nearly constant with the eventual closing of the bypass nozzle, which must be carried out very slowly to avoid water hammer.

Advances in Turbine Design

The trend in modern hydraulic turbine installations has been toward higher heads and larger units. Depending on the size of the unit, Kaplan turbines are now used with heads up to about 60 m (about 200 ft), and Francis turbines up to 610 m (2000 ft). The world's highest head installation (about 1770 m/about 5800 ft), using a Pelton wheel, is at Reisseck, Austria, and the largest single units are installed in a plant at Itaipu, Brazil, where 18 Francis-type turbines sized at 700 megawatts (Mw) each have a total capacity of 12,600 Mw. The largest installation in North America is at La Grande on James Bay, in eastern Canada, where 22 units rated 333 Mw each have a total capacity of 7326 Mw. The largest installation in the United States is at the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River, which has a total capacity of about 6500 Mw.

Many of the small dam hydroelectric systems built before 1930 were later abandoned because of high maintenance and labor costs. Increases in the cost of fossil fuels have focused renewed attention on these low head installations. With the development of standardized propeller turbines with nearly horizontal shafts, small installations have again become attractive.

Turbines can also be designed to run in reverse as pumps. This is done by inverting the electric generator to operate as a motor. Because electric power cannot be stored economically, the operation of the so-called pump-turbines with electricity generated from nuclear and fossil fuel power plants during off-peak hours enables additional water to be stored in a reservoir. It can then be reused to drive the turbine during peak periods. In recent years, pump-turbine technology has been developed to allow for heads up to about 600 m (about 2000 ft) of water and for unit capacities of more than 400 Mw.

Steam Turbines

The success of the water turbine inevitably led to consideration of the turbine principle for extracting power from steam. Where the Watt-type reciprocating steam engine utilized the pressure of steam, the turbine could achieve higher efficiency by utilizing the kinetic energy of steam flow. The turbine can be made smaller, lighter, and cheaper than a reciprocating steam engine of comparable power. It can be made in far larger sizes than the conventional steam engine. Mechanically, it has the advantage of producing rotating motion directly without the necessity of using a crankshaft or other means of transforming reciprocal to rotary motion. As a result, the steam turbine has supplanted the reciprocating engine as a prime mover in large electricity-generating plants and is also used as a means of jet propulsion.

Steam turbines are used in the generation of nuclear power and in nuclear ship propulsion. They operate with fuel-fired boilers for power generation. In cogeneration applications requiring both process heat (heat used in an industrial process) and electricity, steam is raised at high pressure in the boiler and extracted from the turbine at the pressure and temperature required by the process. Steam turbines may be used in combined cycles with a steam generator which recovers heat that would otherwise be lost. Industrial units are used to drive machines, pumps, compressors, and electrical generators. Ratings range from a few horsepower to more than 1300 Mw.

The steam turbine was not invented by any one individual but was the result of work by a number of inventors in the latter part of the 19th century. Notable contributors to the development of the turbine were the British inventor Charles Algernon Parsons and the Swedish inventor Carl Gustaf Patrik de Laval. Parsons was responsible for the so-called principle of staging, whereby steam was permitted to expand in a number of stages, performing useful work at each stage. De Laval was the first to design suitable jets and blades for the efficient use of the expanding steam.

The action of the steam turbine is based on the thermodynamic principle that when a vapor is allowed to expand, its temperature drops, and its internal energy is thereby decreased. This reduction in internal energy is transformed into mechanical energy in the form of an acceleration of the particles of the vapor (see Thermodynamics). This transformation makes a large amount of work energy directly available. In the case of expanding steam, a reduction of 100 Btu in internal energy through expansion can result in increasing the speed of the steam particles to a rate of almost 2900 km/h (almost 1800 mph). At such speeds the energy available is great, even though the particles are extremely light.

Although they are built according to two different principles, the essential parts of all steam turbines are similar. They consist of nozzles or jets through which steam flows and expands, dropping in temperature, and gaining kinetic energy, and blades against which the swiftly moving steam exerts pressure. The arrangement of jets and blades, whether fixed or stationary, depends upon the type of turbine. In addition to these two basic components, turbines are equipped with wheels or drums upon which the blades are mounted, a shaft for these wheels or drums, an outer casing that confines the steam to the area of the turbine proper, and various pieces of auxiliary equipment, including lubrication devices and governors.

The simplest form of steam turbine is the so-called impulse turbine, in which the turbine jets are fixed in place on the inside of the turbine casing, and the blades are set on the rims of revolving wheels mounted on a central shaft. Steam passing through a fixed nozzle passes over the curved blades; these absorb some of the kinetic energy of the expanded steam, turning the wheel and shaft on which they are mounted. The turbine is designed so that steam entering at one end of the turbine expands through a succession of nozzles until it has lost most of its internal energy.

In the reaction turbine, mechanical energy is obtained to some degree by the impact of steam upon the blades, but primarily it is obtained by the acceleration of the steam as it expands. A turbine of this type consists of a set of fixed and a set of movable blades. The blades are arranged so that each pair acts as a nozzle through which the steam expands as its passes. The blades of a reaction turbine are usually mounted on a drum and not on a wheel. This drum acts as the shaft of the turbine.

In order to use the energy available in steam efficiently in a turbine of either type, it is necessary to employ a number of stages, in each of which a small amount of thermal energy is converted to kinetic energy. If the entire conversion of energy took place instead in a single expansion stage, the rotative speed of the turbine wheel would be excessive. In general, reaction turbines require more stages than impulse turbines. It can be shown that for the same diameter and energy range, a reaction turbine requires twice the number of stages for peak stage efficiency. Large turbines that are nominally of the impulse variety employ some reaction at the root of the steam path to assure efficient flow through the buckets. Many turbines that are nominally reactive have an impulse control stage first, which allows for a saving in the total number of stages.

Because of the increase in volume as the steam expands through the various stages of a turbine, the size of the openings through which the steam passes must increase from stage to stage. In the practical engineering design of turbines, this increase is accomplished by lengthening the blades from stage to stage and by increasing the diameter of the drum or wheel upon which the blades are mounted and by adding two or more turbine sections in parallel. As a result, a small industrial turbine may be more or less conical in shape, with its smallest diameter at the high-pressure, or inlet, end, and its largest at the low-pressure, or exhaust, end. A large unit for a nuclear power station may have four rotors consisting of one double-flow high-pressure section followed by three double-flow low-pressure sections.

Impulse turbines usually employ pressure or Rateau staging, named after the French engineer Auguste Rateau, in which the pressure ratio across each stage is nearly uniform. Impulse turbines built in the past have made use of velocity-compounded, or Curtis, staging named after its American inventor, Charles Gordon Curtis, which has two sets of moving buckets with an intermediate set of fixed blades following the nozzles. The staging of a reaction turbine may be called Parsons' staging, after its British inventor, Charles Parsons.

Steam turbines are comparatively simple machines, having only one major moving part, the rotor; however, auxiliary equipment is necessary for their operation. Journal bearings support the shaft. A thrust bearing positions the shaft axially. An oil system provides lubrication to the bearings. Seals minimize steam leakage within the steam path. A sealing system prevents steam leaking from the machine and air leaking from the outside into the machine. The speed of rotation is controlled by valves at the inlet(s) of the machine. In addition, reaction turbines develop considerable axial thrust owing to the pressure drop across the moving blades. This is usually compensated for by the use of a dummy piston, which creates a thrust in the opposite direction to that of the steam path.

The expansion efficiency of a modern multistage steam turbine is inherently high because of the state of development of the steam-path components and the ability to recover losses of one stage in those downstream through reheating. The efficiency with which a section of a turbine converts the theoretically available thermodynamic energy to mechanical work is commonly in excess of 90 percent. The thermodynamic efficiency of a steam-power installation is much less, owing to the energy lost in the exhaust steam from the turbine. See Also Gas Turbine; Jet Propulsion.

Gas Turbine, also combustion turbine, engine that employs gas flow as the working medium by which heat energy is transformed into mechanical energy. Gas is produced in the engine by the combustion of certain fuels. Stationary nozzles discharge jets of this gas against the blades of a turbine wheel. The impulse force of the jets causes the shaft to turn. A simple-cycle gas turbine includes a compressor that pumps compressed air into a combustion chamber. Fuel in gaseous or liquid-spray form is also injected into this chamber, and combustion takes place there. The combustion products pass from the chamber through the nozzles to the turbine wheel. The spinning wheel drives the compressor and the external load, such as an electrical generator.

In a turbine or compressor, a row of fixed blades and a corresponding row of moving blades attached to a rotor is called a stage. Large machines employ multistage axial-flow compressors and turbines. In multishaft arrangements, the initial turbine stage (or stages) powers the compressor on one shaft while the later turbine stage (or stages) powers the external load on a separate shaft.

The efficiency of the gas-turbine cycle is limited by the need for continuous operation at high temperatures in the combustion chamber and early turbine stages. A small, simple-cycle gas turbine may have a relatively low thermodynamic efficiency, comparable to a conventional gasoline engine. Advances in heat-resistant materials, protective coatings, and cooling arrangements have made possible large units with simple-cycle efficiencies of 34 percent or higher.

The efficiency of gas-turbine cycles can be enhanced by the use of auxiliary equipment such as intercoolers, regenerators, and reheaters. These devices are expensive, however, and economic considerations usually preclude their use.

In a combined-cycle power plant, the considerable heat remaining in the gas turbine exhaust is directed to a boiler called a heat-recovery steam generator. The heat so recovered is used to raise steam for an associated steam turbine. The combined output is approximately 50 percent greater than that of the gas turbine alone. Combined cycles with thermal efficiency of 52 percent and higher are being put into service. Gas turbines have been applied to the propulsion of ships and railroad locomotives. A modified form of gas turbine, the turbojet, is used for airplane propulsion. Heavy-duty gas turbines in both simple and combined cycles have become important for large-scale generation of electricity. Unit ratings in excess of 200 megawatts (MW) are available. The combined-cycle output can exceed 300 MW.

The usual fuels used in gas turbines are natural gas and liquids such as kerosene and diesel oil. Coal can be used after conversion to gas in a separate gasifier.

See Also Airplane; Jet Propulsion; Turbine.

Contributed By:

Frederick G. Baily


Types of Nozzles

Various nozzles are capable of projecting solid, heavy streams of water, curtains of spray, or fog. Fire trucks carry a selection of nozzles, which are used according to the amount of heat that must be absorbed. Nozzles can apply water in the form of streams, spray, or fog at rates of flow between 57 liters (15 gallons) to more than 380 liters (more than 100 gallons)per minute. Straight streams of water have greater reach and penetration, but fog absorbs heat more quickly because the water droplets present a greater surface area and distribute the water more widely. Fog nozzles may be used to disperse vapors from flammable liquids, although foam is generally used to extinguish fires in flammable liquids.

Bernoulli's principle applies in nozzles, where flow accelerates and pressure drops as the tube diameter is reduced. It is also the principle behind orifice or Venturi flow meters.

Rocket Nozzles

High-performance rocket engines, such as those used in space vehicles operating in near-vacuum conditions, require very large nozzles to reach supersonic jet-exit velocities. The nozzle must have a converging section from the combustion chamber to the narrowest portion, called the throat, at which sonic velocity is reached, followed by a diverging passage. The nozzle exit diameter may be four or five times the diameter of the combustion chamber.

The hot, high-velocity gases scrubbing against the nozzle wall impose a serious heat-transfer problem, especially if the firing time has to extend over minutes rather than seconds (see Heat Transfer). This heat-transfer problem is greatest near the throat, at which so-called regenerative cooling is often employed in liquid-propelled engines. In a liquid hydrogen-liquid oxygen motor, for example, the hydrogen may be pumped through small tubes that actually form the wall of the nozzle. The super-cold hydrogen is introduced in the supersonic portion and flows through the tubes to the combustion chamber.

Valulas de estragunlamiento

Ahogúese Válvula

Una válvula de estrangulamiento en la base del carburador controla la cantidad de aire tirada a través del artefacto por el vacío parcial en los pistones. El conductor abre la válvula de estrangulamiento apretando el acelerador (pedal de gas). Cuando la válvula se vuelve más ancha, fluye más aire a través del carburador y entrega cantidades más grandes de combustible al artefacto. El conductor cierra la válvula de estrangulamiento disminuyendo la presión en el pedal de gas.

Throttle Valve

A throttle valve at the base of the carburetor controls the amount of air pulled through the engine by the partial vacuum in the pistons. The driver opens the throttle valve by pressing down on the accelerator (gas pedal). As the valve opens wider, more air flows through the carburetor, delivering larger amounts of fuel to the engine. The driver closes the throttle valve by decreasing pressure on the gas pedal

Enviado por:Ingrid Ramírez
Idioma: inglés
País: España

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