Because of uncertainties, delays, and high costs associated with alternative electric energy sources, many agencies responsible for generation of electrical power are investigating means of replacing or supplementing their existing hydroelectric facilities. In the head range between 10 and 60 feet, the bulb-type generating unit, in which the generator is enclosed in a metal capsule within the water passage, has many advantages, including higher efficiency and lower cost, over other types of turbines. Two of the municipalities in the United States which have recently conducted feasibility studies for installing bulb turbines in their systems are the City of Idaho Falls, Idaho, and the City of Vanceburg, Kentucky. For the City of Idaho Falls, International Engineering Company, Inc. prepared feasibility studies which demonstrated that for 7 MW units installed in existing plants, (I) bulb turbines are more economical than comparable conventional (vertical shaft Kaplan) units, (2) installation of new bulb turbine units is preferable to rehabilitating and/or relocating the existing generating units, and (3) the cost of energy generated by the proposed bulb turbine installations would be less than that from alternative sources of energy. At locations at existing dams on the Ohio River, the Vanceburg Electric Light, Heat and Power System studied installations comprised of 3 - 23 MW bulb turbines per plant and also found that the cost of energy from these facilities would be less than from other sources.

Meeting Name

4th Annual UMR-DNR Conference on Energy (1977: Oct. 11-13, Rolla, MO)

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings


Economics, Agriculture And Energy

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 1977 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

13 Oct 1977