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What is the difference between a turbine and a pump?

This article will explain the differences between pumps and turbines, two commonly used water machines in industry. First, an explanation of each’s features, structure, and history will be provided, followed by a comparison.

A pump collects usable energy, converts it to kinetic energy, and then transfers it to a fluid stream. The Turbine, on the other hand, absorbs and converts energy from a fluid flow. A turbine reduces fluid stream energy, whereas a pump increases it. Pumps and turbines are critical components in industrial applications.

To exchange energy with water, both pumps and turbines have been invented and developed. The primary distinction between pumps and turbines is the energy transfer path between the fluid and the machine, which will be discussed in detail below.


A pump is a turbomachine that moves liquids from one location to another. Pumps use mechanical energy to accomplish this. The pump works on the liquid to increase its energy to a higher level of energy, or entropy, and thus its pressure.

The majority of pumps operate on a rotational basis. However, some pumps have been developed that increase liquid energy by linearly moving their components. Pumps are typically powered by a gasoline engine or an electric motor.

The important thing to remember about the pump is that it does not convert energy but rather directs it in a specific direction. Of course, no pump is completely efficient because some energy is lost due to vibrations, noise, and heat.

Gravity causes water to flow downward. As a result, humans must devise a mechanism that raises water from lower levels for use in daily life, such as washing, hygiene, food preparation, or special uses such as agriculture, animal husbandry, and industrial applications.


Turbines are water machines that convert the energy in the flow of water into mechanical work. Mechanical work is converted into electrical energy by connecting an electric generator to the shaft of a turbine.

The shaft is the rod that runs along the turbine’s central axis and rotates around itself with the blades attached to it. A turbine’s blades are typically shaped like fan blades. Of course, they can take the shape of buckets in some cases. The turbine geometry is designed so that the liquid can rotate the rotor in the same direction as the force applied to the blades.

A portion of the power generated by a turbine, like a pump, is lost as noise, vibration, or heat. As a result, no turbine is completely efficient.

Windmills and water wheels are the oldest types of turbines. Water wheels were first used in China between 202 BC and 9 AD, according to historians. Contemporary industrial uses of water power coincide with the Industrial Revolution, such as Richard Arkwright’s spinning mill in England in 1771.

The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were water turbine development turning points. Three of the most widely used turbines in the world today are the Francis, Pelton, and Kaplan turbines, which were invented in 1849, 1880, and 1913, respectively.

Several factors influence which turbine engineers use in a given situation.
Power required for production, geographical location, available water volume, available river or dam characteristics, waterfall height, and cost factor for running a hydroelectric system are all factors to consider.

Difference between Pump and Turbine

Now that we have a thorough understanding of the pump and turbine, their functions, and previous examples, we can discuss the differences between the two.The following are the differences between a pump and a turbine:

Fundamental Differences

The primary distinction between a pump and a turbine is illustrated below.

  • The pump was designed to move fluid from one location to another at a higher pressure and energy level. As a result, a pump boosts the energy of a liquid.
  • The turbine converts the kinetic energy of a high-speed or high-pressure fluid into mechanical energy for the rotation of the rotor and shaft, and thus into electrical energy. As a result, the turbine reduces water energy.
  • The pump and turbine operate in reverse.
  • Pumps use electrical energy from an external source to move impellers. This movement transfers momentum to the surrounding fluid, causing it to move.
    Water enters the turbine blades quickly, and the blades begin to move with the rotor. To generate electrical energy, the rotor is connected to a shaft, which is connected to a generator.

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