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Turgo turbines


Invented in 1919 by Gilbert Gilkes, Turgo is a compact impulse type turbines. The water potential energy (pressure) is converted into kinetic energy (jet speed) using nozzles. The high speed water jet hits the turbine rotor blades, which deflect and reverses the water. The resulting impulse spins the runner, providing mechanical energy to the generator shaft. Water exits the turbine at atmospheric pressure and very low speed.

At a given rotor geometry, the head imposes the turbine speed. At a certain head, increasing the inlet flow (higher number of jets or higher nozzle section) increases the power output. In multiple nozzle configurations, under-load regimes (i.e. drought season) can be dealt with by closing one or more nozzles. For any given nozzle, flow can be reduced using a jet deflector or a retractable metal pin placed in the center of the nozzle (spear valve).

Turgo is usually used at constant speed, being particularly well suited for installation in sites with low to medium flow (up to 500 l/sec.) and average to high head (25-225 m).

Depending on the site characteristics, several constructive variants (plastic or stainless blades, different number of nozzles or blades, rotor diameter, horizontal or vertical design, etc.) of Turgo turbines are available.

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