Ljungström turbine

The Ljungström turbine is a steam turbine innovated circa 1908 by the Swedish brothers Birger (1872–1948) and Fredrik Ljungström (1875–1964). It is also known as the STAL turbine, from the company name STAL (Swedish: Svenska Turbinfabriks Aktiebolaget Ljungström).


The machine is flowed through steam in radial direction from the inside to the outside and consists of two halves that rotate against each other. As a result, each rotor blade of the one turbine half serves simultaneously as the guide blade of the other half. The different direction of rotation of the two halves is either compensated by a gearbox connected downstream or by separate generators during the generation of electrical power. The Ljungström turbine can either be used on a condenser or else for the supply of a district heating grid and is thus flexible to use. It was therefore used in large industrial complexes, which could use both the exhaust of this engine for combined heat and power as well as its electric energy. The functionality has been employed for several power plants.

In principle, the maximum power is about 32 MW, since the two turbine halves can not be constructed as large as desired. Coupled with a Parsons turbine, its output can be increased to 50 MW. Since the current steam power plants have a significantly higher performance, the Ljungström turbine is generally no longer applied today. The largest ship ever built the Seawise Giant was powered by this type of engine. The Seawise Giant was built in the late seventies and was the largest mega tanker at over 1500 feet long after the ship was lengthened before it was finally accepted by a new owner CY Tung after the original purchaser refused to accept it. Shortly after the Iran–Iraq war ended, Norman International bought the shipwreck, salvaged and repaired it.[7] It was renamed Happy Giant after the repairs.[3] These repairs were done at the Keppel Corporation shipyard in Singapore after towing it from the Persian Gulf. It entered service in October 1991 as Happy Giant.[16]

Jørgen Jahre bought the tanker in 1991 for US$39 million and renamed it Jahre Viking. From 1991 to 2004, it was owned by Loki Stream AS and flew the flag of Norway.[16]

In 2004, it was purchased by First Olsen Tankers Pte. Ltd., renamed Knock Nevis, and converted into a permanently moored storage tanker in the Qatar Al Shaheen Oil Field in the Persian Gulf.[5][16]

Knock Nevis was renamed Mont, and reflagged to Sierra Leone by new owners Amber Development Corporation, for its final voyage to India where it was scrapped by Priyablue Industries. The vessel was beached on December 22, 2009.[4][9][17] Its 36 tonne anchor was saved and sent to the Hong Kong Maritime Museum for exhibition.[18][19]sent to salvage. in 2009.

The inventors

The Ljungström brothers were creative, time-typical inventors personalities of the 19th century. They not only named the turbine type, but also an early form of a bicycle.


  • Sigvard Strandh: Die Maschine: Geschichte, Elemente, Funktion. Ein enzyklopädisches Sachbuch", Herder Verlag, 1980. ISBN 3-451-18873-2 (Ljungströmturbine, pp. 133–135, Svea-Bike, p. 220 and Fig. 221)
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