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Hydropower Horizons: Pioneering a Pelton Turbine Breakthrough

September 1, 2023

In the late 1870s, American inventor Lester Allan Pelton devised the Pelton wheel, an impulse-type hydraulic turbine, to enhance energy generation in Western mining operations, which typically used lower-volume mountain streams. The hydraulic turbine employs a straightforward design, oriented horizontally or vertically, comprising a large circular wheel (the runner) with elliptical cup-shaped blades (buckets) affixed to a rotating shaft (the rotor). Upon propelling a high-velocity water jet through a nozzle (or injector) from the penstock—which connects to the water reservoir—the water strikes a bucket on the Pelton wheel, generating a force that sets the turbine in motion. The rotating shaft powers a generator for electricity production.

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