Cylindrical Gate Turbine

General Dimensions

Proportional Dimensioning

Using the photograph of the Type B Cylindrical Gate Turbine I will develop some general dimensions. I imagine that if I had photos of ten different models I would come up with ten different variations .. so .. I will be quite happy with these. I’m not using a set of engineering drawings so that the design is an exact copy – but a generic model with the feel of the beast.

  • (a) Since it is easy to see in photographs I used the Cylindrical Gate as a base for the dimensioning, setting it to 1
  • (b) Flange diameter
  • (c) Flange thickness
  • (d) Cage length
  • (e) Body length
  • (f) Second flange thickness
  • (g) Body diameter
  • (h) Gear diameter
  • (i) Shaft diameter
prop_dimWith the dimensions above I can start modeling in Sketchup. Just to show how I’m going about it – I set that dia of the Cylindrical Gate of 1 .. to 1ft in my Sketchup model. I then quickly create the other shapes based on the proportional dimensions I estimated. Once I need to get an exact measurement I can simply scale to what I need. For example .. in the next bit on scaling the turbine to the cylindrical gate I figure that the turbine is 3/4 that of the gate. Since the gate is about 1/2 the dia of the casing – and my design is for a 4ft casing that means that (currently) 1ft gate diameter simply needs to be scaled to 2ft .. and everything will scale appropriately.
Proportional Diameter

Proportional Diameters

Taking a look at this Cylindrical Gate Turbine we can get a general idea of the dimensions. A RED Elipse outlines the end of he Gate. From the center a GREEN line is drawn to the casing. This gives us a general dimensioning shown – The Gate/Turbine occupies approximately 1/2 the dia with 1/4 dia on either side. Think that’s ‘good nuff’ for me.
More – Proportional Diameter

Gate and Turbine Proportional Diameters

Once again I drew a Elipse around the circumference of the Cylindrical Gate. I then drew GREEN Elipse around the circumference of the white bit .. that would be the gate assembly according to Russ. The turbine wheel/runner would be inside that. From that I get that the white part of the gate has a diameter 3/4 of the outside diameter of the Cylindrical Gate assembly.

Using the 4ft dia casing I have currently designed that means the Cylindrical Gate assembly would be about 2ft in dia, the white inner part about 18in dia. Knocking off an inch off the dia and let’s make a WAG that the turbine wheel/runner would be 16in dia.

In-Progress Shots
Centrifugal Gate

Centrifugal Gate

The Centrifugal Gate. You have to remember here that this is quite small (this is about 1/2″ across). I am limited by the minimum wall size for FUD which is .3mm .. which means airfoil shaped blades are out. Remember this is a model .. it only has to LOOK correct .. not actually work!

I am thinking that I will put a ring around the top and bottom and leave a hole in the bottom. That way the turbine wheel can slide up inside easily.



Working on the runner, removing the ‘bits’ not needed. Here .. the tops of the vanes that extend into the support
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About etraxx

Retired from the Army in 2006. Served during Vietnam - 1969-1972 as as 72B - Communications Center Specialist (Teletype Operator). Got out .. and went back in 1987 as a 19K - Armor Vehicle Crewman - (M1/M1A1 tanker) getting out in Korea in 1999. Went into the Reserves .. got mobilized in 2001 .. stayed active until my retirement with 20 years in 2006.


Cylindrical Gate Turbine — 25 Comments

  1. Ed,

    I think I missed something here. I think I might know what you’re working on; but as time permits, would you please post some more information on your turbine?


    Tom Stockton

  2. Ed,

    Does this turbine build tie-in somehow to your railroads? I think that is where some of my confusion came from. (Don’t worry, I have LOTS of confusion… I don’t think I’ll run out any time soon!)


  3. Ed,

    Ah, now I see. I’d read the thread on the pump house, but somehow had missed the other two parts. NOW I see how it all comes together!

    Ed, you’re doing some amazing work here; taking time to research “the real thing”, working out designs using both commercially available items and custom-made parts using 3D printing, etc. Top that off with both detailed commentary and excellent pictures and drawings — all I can say is “WOW!”

    Keep up the GREAT work!


    • Tom,
      Thanks. Here’s the way I look at it.

      1) I like computers, programming etc. In past years I was more into the programming bit but as I got older and lazier I moved more to packaged deals like WordPress. Keeping a running commentary on my blog satisfies my interest in such .. and at the same time .. as a blog let’s people comment as you have done. To be completely honest .. my intent is two-fold .. First I can use this as a virtual notepad. Much easier to keep track of my ‘notes’ this way then scraps of paper which tend to get lost and Second .. allows our Internet Community to join in. The blog can be used much like a forum with exchange of ideas .. which was my hope. I don’t get as much of that give-and-take as I wish but .. shrug .. you can only do so much.

      2) The research is .. well .. fun. Reading about these turbines for example means I found the book on developing power from small streams .. which lead me to the dam design and to the turbines.

      3) The 3d printing started over on the Westlake forum – Chuck Doan started to use a service called Print-a-Part. They got out of working with individuals – which considering how Shapeways has filled the vacuum was a mistake on their part .. IMO.

  4. Ed, the white part is the gate. The turbine runner is inside of it, which you can’t see in that photo of the cut up turbine.

    I’m attaching a cut away of a typical Leffel turbine which has the adjustable wickets, for no other reason than for you to have it for reference should you decide to model one of them. I thought I had a cut away of a cylindrical turbine, but can’t seem to find it. I may have been thinking of this one.

    I agree on the variations and keeping it generic. Both the movable wicket and the McCormick design seem to have been used equally and the differences between manufacturers designs would only be noticeable to someone like me or you who stare at these things for too long. 🙂

    • Russ,
      Looking at that drawing the runner – the part with the turbine blades sits under the gates well within the discharge cylinder. I realize that designs will vary .. the photo of the cut-away turbine assembly you said that the runner was within the gate. No problem that I see .. since the measurements are just ‘guesstamations’. :).. I can still say that the runner is a little smaller then the white part that you identified as part of the gate. Using that I had guessed the wheel dia (this is the runner I guess) was about 18in for a 4ft casting. Since I had originally guessed the wheel dia at 1/3 or the case dia .. for a 4ft dia casing that would come out to 16in. .. so that all works out pretty well! Then .. since the runner is inside the gate assembly/discharge cylinder etc. it only matters if we are trying to guess what power our little turbine would generate.

      I went back and modified the post to reflect this.

      • Zackly. Those dimensions sound about right. I have a bunch of tables with sizes of turbines which I should have given to you first off. Honestly, you’d probably be better off doing it the way you are right now for the generic model and save the exact drawings when we build the real thing, HA!

  5. I think I may have a digital copy form the French River Hydro site. Speaking of, here’s another rabbit-hole to follow:

    The Fays have done a great job of collecting about every turbine catalog ever published and put them up for public use on their site. Nice bunch of people. They also update the site with their ongoing projects. This is nice because you get to see things being dismantled and repaired and at times that’s better than any cross-cut drawing. Remember what I said about modeling an turbine upgrade? Replace the cherry picker with a hand cranked derrick and presto!

    What’s really interesting is that nothing mechanically has changed. They are using the same equipment that was initially installed almost 100 years ago.

  6. For the sake of keeping things simple, I wouldn’t even bother with the turbine runner itself. It’ll never be seen. if you can make all that other mechanical gobbledygook on top look convincing it would be plenty good. Unless you just want to do it and possibly have it disassembled for a particular scene, or as a car or wagon load, or in a lathe. It’s a tricky part. I wouldn’t worry about it.
    Here’s another pic of that 10inch turbine showing the cylinder rod bell crank set up. Just another option for activation.

  7. I may be wrong, but the cylinder going across may need to be offset. to one side of the runner shaft. The cylindrical gate is usually connected to two racks that mesh with two pinions that are mounted on the cross shaft. I’ll see if I can get an exploded view of what I am talking about. Gotta go eat lunch, first. 🙂

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