Hydropower Turbine Calculator

Calculates the power of a hydroelectric turbine from height and volumetric flow rate. The flow rate can be calculated from cross-section and flow velocity. The efficiency factor of run-of-river hydroelectricity plants is about 90%, whereas pumped-storage hydroelectricity plants have about 80%. The water density slightly changes with temperature. The usable height of fall is a bit lower than the actual height difference. The volumetric flow rate tells, how many cubic meters per second are powering the turbine. Please enter the height as well as either the volumetric flow rate, or cross-sectional area and flow velocity. The power will be calculated in the chosen unit.
The formula for the power calculation is P = η * ρ * g * h * Q. The volumetric flow rate can be calculated as Q = A * v.

Efficiency factor η:%
Water density ρ:kg/m³
Gravitational acceleration g:m/s²
Usable height of fall h:m

Volumetric flow rate Q:m³/s

Cross-sectional area A:
Flow velocity v:m/s

Power P:

Example: at a cross-sectional area of 30 square meters and a flow velocity of 2 meters per second, the volumetric flow rate is 60 cubic meters per second. If the usable height of fall is 2.5 meters and the efficiency factor has the given value, then the hydroelectric power plant has a power of a bit more than 1.3 megawatts.


Hydroelectric power plant
A hydroelectric power plant at the river Iller in Kempten, Bavaria (Germany).

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