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During 1849, James Francis – a British American engineer developed modern water turbine, named as Francis turbine which still remains as a most widely used water turbine in the world even today.
In 1870, another American inventor named Lester Allan Pelton has developed a wheel called Pelton wheel, which is an impulsive water turbine and is patented in his name during 1880.
Lester Allan Pelton
Original Pelton’s wheel in 1880.
In general, hydropower plants obtain the energy of falling water and convert them to generate electricity. This conversion is done by the turbine in which it converts the kinetic energy of the falling water into the mechanical energy. The generator will convert the mechanical energy obtained from the turbine into electrical energy.