Turbo-electric transmission

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ALCO-General Electric Union Pacific GTELs gas turbine-electric locomotive. X-18 is one of the third series, built 1958–61.
Turbotrains were gas turbine trains built in France 1971–75 and supplied to SNCF, Amtrak and Iranian Railways.
The battleship USS New Mexico, launched in 1917, was the World's first turbo-electric steamship.

Turbo-electric transmission uses electric generators to convert the mechanical energy of a turbine (steam or gas) into electric energy and electric motors to convert it back into mechanical energy to power the driveshafts.

Turbo-electric drives are used in some rail locomotives (gas turbines, e.g. with the first TGV) and ships (steam and more recently gas turbines). An advantage of turbo-electric transmission is that it allows the adaptation of high-speed turning turbines to the slowly turning propellers or wheels without the need of a heavy and complex gearbox. It also has the advantage of being able to provide electricity for the ship or train's other electrical systems, such as lighting, computers, radar, and communications equipment.

A disadvantage, shared with the more common diesel-electric powertrain, is that because of the double conversion of mechanical energy to electricity and back, more energy gets lost than with a mechanical transmission.

Ships with turbo-electric drive[edit]

USS Langley, the US Navy's first aircraft carrier, was converted to turbo-electric transmission in 1920–22.
USS Tullibee, launched in 1960, was the US Navy's first turbo-electric submarine.



Aircraft carriers[edit]

Destroyer escorts[edit]

Troop ships[edit]


Auxiliary ships[edit]

Coast Guard cutters[edit]

Merchant ships[edit]

Uruguay. She was launched in 1927 as California, the World's first turbo-electric ocean liner.
Normandie, launched in 1932, was the World's most powerful turbo-electric steamship.
Canberra, launched in 1960, was the first ship with alternating current (AC) turbo-electric transmission.
RMS Queen Mary 2, launched in 2003, has gas turbines and is the World's largest turbo-electric ship.
Arauca (shown here) and her sister ship Antilla were launched in 1939. Their propulsion systems suffered significant technical failures on their maiden voyages.

Ocean liners[edit]

Coastal liners[edit]


Cruise ships[edit]

Banana boats[edit]

General cargo ships[edit]

Oil tankers[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]