Power Plant Capacity 22MW
− −
Annual Energy Generation 133.432 GWh

Francis Turbine

The Francis turbine, which was invented by James B. Francis, is a popular type of water turbine used in hydro-power stations with medium to high head. This inward flow reaction turbine combines both radial and axial flow concepts, making it efficient and compact in design. It is the most commonly used water turbine in the world today, and is available in both vertical and horizontal shaft arrangements. With a water head range of 10 to 300 meters, capacity from 100 KW to 50 MW, and a runner diameter of 0.35 to 4.0 meters, the Francis turbine is versatile and can be selected by hydraulic power stations. It is also easy to operate and maintain due to its reasonable design. The Francis turbine achieves higher efficiency primarily due to its blade design, which utilizes both the reaction and impulse forces of water flow to rotate. By using this type of turbine, the common issue of limited water head availability is resolved as it harnesses both the kinetic and potential energy of water to generate power. As a result, the Francis turbine is often referred to as a Mixed Flow turbine.


The primary application of the Francis turbine lies in hydroelectric power generation. This turbine is widely employed in hydroelectric power plants to harness the energy from flowing water and convert it into mechanical energy. Particularly well-suited for sites with moderate to high head and flow rates, the Francis turbine operates as a reaction turbine, utilizing both the kinetic energy and pressure of the water. As water is directed onto the turbine's blades, it induces rotation, which, in turn, drives a generator to produce electrical energy. This clean and renewable energy source plays a crucial role in the global effort to generate sustainable electricity and reduce dependence on non-renewable resources.

Kaplan and Francis turbines are distinct types of water turbines used in hydroelectric power generation. While both are reaction turbines that convert the energy of flowing water into mechanical energy, they differ in their designs and applications. The key distinction lies in their suitability for different water flow conditions. Francis turbines are ideal for medium to high head and medium to high flow rates, whereas Kaplan turbines are specifically designed for low to medium head and high flow rates. Additionally, Kaplan turbines have adjustable blades to optimize performance under varying water conditions, allowing them to efficiently operate in environments with changing water flow.

Turbines follow a three-step process for power generation. First, water is directed onto the turbine blades, imparting kinetic and pressure energy. Second, the rotating blades convert this energy into mechanical power. Lastly, the mechanical energy drives a generator, transforming it into electrical power for practical use.

Hydraulic turbines, such as Francis and Kaplan turbines, are essential for converting water energy into electricity in hydroelectric power plants. Each type of turbine engine is designed to meet specific performance requirements in its respective field.

The Francis turbine is named after its inventor, James B. Francis, an American engineer. James Francis, born in 1815, is renowned for his contributions to hydraulic engineering. In the mid-19th century, he designed and developed the Francis turbine, patenting his creation in 1849. The turbine became widely used for hydroelectric power generation due to its efficiency and adaptability to various water flow conditions. James B. Francis's groundbreaking work in fluid mechanics and turbine design significantly influenced the field of hydraulic engineering and has left a lasting impact on the utilization of water power for electricity generation.

Scroll to Top