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Design and manufacture of equipment for engineering education and research. Constantly evolving for the growing demands of the engineering education sector.


Propeller Turbine

The FM63 is a self contained, small-scale propeller turbine unit. This fixed blade, axial flow turbine may be considered as the prototype form of a propeller turbine, itself a forerunner of the Kaplan turbine.

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FM63 Propeller Turbine – Issue 3

The FM63 is a self contained, small-scale propeller turbine unit. This fixed-blade, axial flow turbine may be considered as the prototype form of a propeller turbine, itself a forerunner of the Kaplan turbine.

The inclusion of angled inlet guide vanes and the design of the runner blades utilise both impulse and reaction effects. It can be demonstrated that this type of machine works most efficiently where high flows at relatively low heads are available.

Ordering Specification

  • Self-contained, small-scale hydropower unit designed to demonstrate the operating principles of a propeller turbine
  • 75l water reservoir
  • Circulating pump, which produces 14m head at 4.4 l/s
  • Loaded by a magnetic brake unit, which is controlled direct from the PC
  • Links to a PC via a USB interface
  • Electronic sensors monitor process variables
  • Supplied with full education software package including comprehensive results processing and help facilities

Instructional Capabilities

  • Determining the characteristics of a propeller turbine, including the relationships of volume flow rate, head, torque produced, power output and efficiency to rotational speed


The FM63 consists of a framework base, which houses a large water reservoir and a circulating pump. A stainless steel top supports the turbine itself and a dynamometer assembly The propeller itself is housed in a clear acrylic pipe to enable maximum visibility of the workings.

The unit incorporates a paddle wheel type flow meter and a pressure sensor to measure the inlet condition of the water. The dynamometer module incorporates a magnetic type brake, which applies load to the turbine. The level of braking is controlled directly from the software.

A load cell measures the braking force, and hence the power, and an optical sensor measures the rotational speed of the turbine.

Performance Specification

Maximum power: 55W
Maximum speed: 8,500rpm
Maximum torque: 0.60Nm


All Armfield CAPTURE units are now supplied with LabVIEW™ based software to present and record the data in a way that is straightforward to use and understand for the student, yet offers a wide range of advanced features and capabilities.

Software Capabilities

Each piece of FM equipment is supplied with its own runtime software. This can be installed on any Windows-based PC and requires no additional licences or software to be installed to use it to its full extent. It includes a range of facilities and capabilities designed to make the operation of the equipment and processing of the results very straightforward. This enables the student to focus on generating a true understanding of the subject material.

Typical functions include:

  • Diagrammatic representation of the equipment complete with real-time display of the various sensor outputs
  • Detailed ‘help’ facilities giving in depth guidance
  • Automatic data logging of sensor values into a spreadsheet format
  • Control over sampling intervals
  • Sophisticated graph plotting facilities of both measured and calculated values, including comparisons taken under different conditions
  • Export of data to Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet software
  • General notepad facility
  • Facility to add notes to an individual sample
  • Calibration facility for sensors
  • Real-time bar graph display of sensor outputs
  • Recent history graphical display

Software Upgrades

Existing CAPTURE MkII users can upgrade to the new LabVIEW™ software, (ie any system incorporating an IFD7 Interface Unit). No hardware changes are necessary unless also upgrading from a 32-bit to a 64-bit computer. If the computer operating system is being upgraded at the same time it may also be necessary to upgrade the IFD7. See the IFD7 section for more details.

Software Source Code

Advanced LabVIEW users may wish to access and modify the code supplied by Armfield. Armfield can supply the source code for the LabVIEW software, enabling the programs to be optimised for particular requirements.

To use this facility, an up to date version of the National Instruments LabVIEW development software must be installed on the PC, together with all applicable licences. (Note, Armfield do not supply National Instruments Software.)

Order Code FM-LV-SC.

Software Order Codes

FM40-LV-RT, FM41-LV-RT etc. for standard software or FM-LV-SC for the source code version.

Technical Details

The analogue output data is digitised and transferred to a computer using the standard USB (Universal Serial Bus). This enables any standard modern Windows computer to be used, including notebooks, and does not require any internal access to the computer.

The equipment is supplied complete with a USB lead for connection to the computer. The FM Turbine Demonstration Unit interfaces to the computer via the IFD7 device and the USB port of the computer.

Also available is a software driver that enables the outputs to be read in other software programs, such as LabVIEW.

Essential Equipment


Electrical Supply:
FM63-A: 220-240V 1ph 50Hz 13 amp
FM63-B: 120V 1ph 60Hz 25 amp

Shipping Specification

Volume: 1.40m3
Gross weight: 160kg

Overall Dimensions

Height: 1.12m
Width: 0.91m
Depth: 0.66m