The Francis turbine has the widest range of applications among the various types of turbines available

Francis turbines generally are the most efficient solution for heads ranging from 40 to 600 meters

The runner design can be adapted to get the highest level of efficiency in its whole range of application.

Francis turbines are very robust and able to sustain the high mechanical stress resulting from high heads.

Alstom has successfully completed numerous installations of Francis turbines with outputs up to 800 MW. In fact, we've manufactured the largest Francis turbines ever made - each runner has a diameter of 10 meters and weighs 450 tons - for the Three Gorges Project in China.

Francis hydro turbine

Older hydropower plants benefit directly from our ongoing efforts to increase efficiency, output and safety of our Francis turbines. In refurbishment applications, the improved overall performance offers a highly competitive solution for increased profit generation.

With about 60% of the global hydropower capacity in the world, Francis turbines are by far the most widely used type of turbine. Besides always investing in R&D in order to further increase the turbine efficiency, Alstom has also developed specific products to increase the machine performance in terms of environmental conscious technology, reliability and cost.

Alstom developed the ring gate solution, a cylinder that moves between the stay vane and the guide vanes that can replace the traditional butterfly or spherical valves. Its principal advantages are cost reduction of the civil work without compromising safety, and an increase of the plant efficiency by suppressing the head loss induced by the butterfly valve.

Bearings are a critical mechanical component of hydro power plants.
Alstom proposes high performance bearings. The most up-to-date technologies are:

  • Water bearings: increased overall efficiency, environmental conscious technology, minimised operating costs
  • Thrust bearing membrane supports, that allow to minimise friction loss while improving operation safety
  • Self pumping bearings: minimised operating costs, safety, higher reliability
Francis hydro turbine
  • Peng Shui (China), 2007 - 5 x 350 MW - Head: 67 m.
  • Peribonka (Canada), 2007 - 3 x 130 MW - Head: 68 m.
  • Three Gorges (China), 2012 - 14 x 700-767 MW - Head: 80.6-85m
  • Koyna IV (India), 2000 - 4 x 250 MW - Head: 475 m.
  • Turkwell (Kenya), 1991 - 2 x 53 MW - Head: 364 m.
  • La Grande (Canada), 1981-1992 - 23 x 295-338 MW - Head: 117 m.
  • Itaipu (Brazil), 2004 - 13 x 750 MW - Head: 126 m.
  • Karun (Iran), 1976 - 4 x 250 MW - Head: 165 m. 

Hydropower solutions

Alstom hydro turbines and generators installed worldwide represent more than 25% of the total hydro power capacity today. We have the broadest range of hydro solutions and services: from water to wire, from individual equipment to complete turnkey solutions, for new plants and the installed base.