Turbo-electric transmission

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 turbines to slow turning propellers or wheels without a heavy and complex gearbox. It 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.

Ships with turbo-electric drive



Aircraft carriers

Destroyer escorts

Troop ships


Auxiliary ships

Coast Guard cutters

Merchant ships


Ocean liners

Coastal liners


Cruise ships

Banana boats

General cargo ships

Oil tankers

See also

  • Czarnecki, Joseph (31 January 2001). "Turboelectric drive in American Capital Ships". The Naval Technical Board. NavWeaps.
  • Draper, John L (December 1930). "The Paddle Wheel to Electric Drive". Popular Mechanics: 898–902. — detailed article with drawing and charts on turbo-electric drive for ships and the advantages
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