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Pelton Wheel

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Pelton Wheel
The pelton wheel, also known as the Pelton turbine or the jet-free turbine, is a water or hydraulic turbine used to generate hydroelectricity. The pressure of the water supply is converted into a high velocity through stationary nozzles and water jets then encroach on buckets mounted on the rim of a wheel. The use of Pelton wheels is best suited for high head, low-flow sites or installations that typically exceed 500 feet (150 m).[1]

The Pelton wheel was invented and patented in 1880 by Lester Allen Pelton. The turbine featured spoon-shaped shovels or buckets and an impulse turbine.[2] Nozzles produce and direct strong streams of water against the spoon-shaped shovels or buckets mounted in pairs around the edge of the wheel. Each bucket works to reverse the flow of water, reducing energy that in effect produces an impulse that spins the turbine.[3]

Pelton wheels can vary in size from 200 megawatts to only a few inches across. Large sized Pelton wheels are used in the generator houses of hydroelectric plants. Smaller sized Pelton wheels are used with household plumbing fixtures to tap power from mountain streams.[4]

[edit] References

  1. Pelton wheel. Answers.com. 2008-09-29.
  2. Turbine. Library Thinkquest. 2008-09-29.
  3. Pelton Wheel. Answers.com. 2008-09-29.
  4. Pelton Wheel. Answers.com. 2008-09-29.