Major historical developments in the design of water wheels and Francis hydroturbines

B. J. Lewis, J. M. Cimbala, A. M. Wouden

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The first record of water wheels dates back to ancient Greece. Over the next several centuries the technology spread all over the world. The process of arriving at the design of the modern Francis runner lasted from 1848 to approximately 1920. Though the modern Francis runner has little resemblance to the original turbines designed by James B. Francis in 1848, it became know as the Francis turbine around 1920, in honor of his many contributions to hydraulic engineering analysis and design. The modern Francis turbine is the most widely used turbine design today, particularly for medium head and large flow rate situations, and can achieve over 95% efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012020
JournalIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
StatePublished - 2014
Event27th IAHR Symposium on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems, IAHR 2014 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: Sep 22 2014Sep 26 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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