Control panel, Hydroelectric power plant, Krčín


The Kaplan turbine is an overpressure

axial turbine 

that is easy to regulate. It is used mainly in places where flow or gradient cannot be constantly maintained. Kaplan turbines predominantly occur in installations with a high flow and low fall gradient (such as large rivers, downstream).

The turbine was invented by a professor

at the Brno Technical University

Viktor Kaplan. The Kaplan turbine differs from its forerunner, the Francis turbine, in particular by its lower number of blades, the impeller shape and, mainly, by the ability to control the blade angle of both the impeller and distribution wheel.

The Kaplan turbine cross-section, and Viktor Kaplan


The founder of the company,

Heinrich Storek,

was an owner of the machinery and iron works Ignaz Storek in Brno, involved mainly in casting and processing metal, in particular cast iron. In the first decade of the 19th century, the design engineer Viktor Kaplan, creator of the Kaplan turbine, was employed in the company; the company, headed by Storek, was able to give Kaplan an extraordinary level of engineering support. A Siemens-Martin furnace was built there in 1889 – the third such piece of equipment of its type in Austria-Hungary. In 1906 a mechanical workshop was opened in the plant; the plant was further extended in 1910 and linked by a spur line to the railway network. A new machine plant was opened in 1913. 

After 1910 the design engineerViktor Kaplanwas employed in the company. Ignaz Storek offered him conditions favourable for innovation work; Viktor Kaplan repaid him by granting the company preferential rights to use his design patents. After the outbreak of WWI

production was reoriented towards military requirements in the years 1914–1918.