The fish-friendly turbine

A VLH turbine opens up unused possibilities for renewable power generation: In Germany there are about 7700 hydroelectric power plants that feed more than 20 TWh per year into the power grid. Why do we benefit so little from clean and efficient hydro power compared to the global average (3.5 to 15 percent)? Because both ecological reasons and local conditions limit increased use. 

On the other hand, some rivers, for example, are not suitable for energy production because their head is too small. Whether you are looking for a fish-friendly turbine or want to develop previously unused areas - Stellba Hydro makes hydroelectric power plants not only more economical, but also more environmentally friendly.

Further advantages of the VLH turbine

Reduced construction costs
The compact design and the absence of a power house reduce costs.

Efficient operation
Good efficiency thanks to optimised runner, speed regulation, direct-driven permanent magnet generator and clever solutions for maintenance.

Hardly any environmental pollution
Silent, low vibration and fish-friendly: no significant environmental impact.

The designation "VLH" stands for "Very Low Head" and so the "VLH-Turbine" refers to applications at very low heads. Up to now, the focus in turbines for small heads has been on increasing the power density by reducing the runner diameter, decreasing the number of blades and thus increasing the specific flow rate. Although this development makes the turbine small, inlet and outlet structures of immense dimensions are necessary. This means that an economic implementation is only possible in very few cases. The basic idea of the VLH concept is in direct contradiction to this tendency and aims to reduce the size of the structures and thus the costs considerably by means of large runner diameters and a low specific flow rate.


There are a large number of transverse structures in rivers which have not been used for energy generation until now because the head is too small for the use of conventional turbine types. The VLH turbine was developed for hydropower generation at these locations. 


The VLH turbine is standardized, with runner diameters ranging from 3.15 to 5.43 meters. This allows the turbine to be used at locations with a net head of between 1.4 and 3.2 meters. The maximum amount of water the machine can handle is between 8.2 m³/s and 35 m³/s, depending on the runner size and the head of the site.

Further information:

Detailed information can be found on the website of the company MJ2. In addition, the text "Die Very-Low-Head-Turbine - Technik und Anwendung" by Lutz Juhrig (published in Wasserwirtschaft 10/2011) provides a good overview of technical features and operating experience.


More detailed information is available on the website of the company MJ2.

Are you interested in a VLH turbine?

Stellba has exclusive distribution rights for Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Let our experts accompany you until commissioning.

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You are aiming to increase the performance of your power plant?

The Stellba flow simulation shows you exactly by what percentage you can increase the efficiency of your plant or what savings potential exists for your operating costs. Contact us and convince yourself of the efficiency of our innovative process. The costs for the simulation will be credited to your order value.

Would you like to learn more about our services?

Revise, modernise, optimise: Take a look at our references and find out more about successfully realized VLH projects.

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Stellba Hydro GmbH & Co KG  I  Eiffelstr. 4  I  D-89542 Herbrechtingen  I  Phone +49 7324 96 80 0  I  Fax +49 7324 96 80 66  I  E-mail: info@stellba-hydro.de