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33 - 1
The World of Energy
33.1. History of Steam Turbine
Chapter 33 - LNG Steam Turbine
Ch. 33 - 2
Early Steam Turbine Factory
Dresser-Rand steam turbine factory, Wellsville, N.Y., 1940
Ch. 33 - 3
Leonardo Da Vinci Turbine
Pure Reaction Turbine
Ch. 33 - 4
Blades & Rotor of Impulse Turbine
Ch. 33 - 5
Hero Aeolipile & Branca Toy (1629)
The steam turbine has a long pedigree,
stretching back to Heros aeolipile, which
was a simple reaction turbine of the
ancient world, and to Brancas toy, a
simple impulse turbine of vintage 1629
In the Curtis or more properly, Rateau
stage turbine the pressure drop across
each stage was all taken over the fixed
row (Figure 6). Thus, the impulse type
stage corresponds to a zero reaction
arrangement. Because of the large
pressure drop across the fixed row, the
nozzles are usually fitted into partitions or
diaphragms having a small bore diameter
where special devices are fitted to
minimize flow leakage losses ; see Figure
7. With no pressure drop across the
moving row, rotor thrust is minimal. The
resulting geometry led to impulse
turbines having so-called disc or wheel
and diaphragm construction.

Ch. 33 - 6
Parsons First Turbine (1884)
Parsons designed his turbine
so that the pressure drop
across each stage was split
into equal heat drops, or
available energy, across the
fixed and moving rows.
This became commonly
known as the reaction-type
turbine because of the
reaction created by
accelerating the flow in the
moving blade.
It is, in fact, more correct to
designate Parsons concept
as a 50 percent reaction
design because reaction is
usually defined as the ratio
of the heat (energy) drop
across the moving row to the
total heat drop over the
Ch. 33 - 7
Parsons First Turbine (1884)
Ch. 33 - 8
Gustaf De Laval Turbine (1882)
Ch. 33 - 9
The Curtis Turbine (1927)
Charles G. Curtis patented his
turbine designs some 13 years
after Swedish engineer Gustav
de Laval (1845-1913) first
demonstrated a simple turbine
design in 1882.
Curtis patents overcame many
of the limitations of the de Lava1
turbine. And one of the two new
designs offered a radically
different concept, now known as
velocity compounding
In velocity compounded steam
turbines, the steam speed, not
the pressure, decreases in steps
as it passes through the turbine
from inlet to outlet
Ch. 33 - 10
Commercialization of Curtis Turbine
Curtis proposed his ideas to several
companies with no success, until he met E.W.
Rice (1862-1935), vice president of
manufacturing and engineering for General
Electric (GE).
Rice was interested in Curtis turbine, and in
1897 an agreement was reached by Curtis
and General Electric.
Rice asked W.L.R. Emmet (1859-1941), who
at that time was in charge of the General
Electric Lighting Department, to review Curtis
Emmet create the first production turbine. a
500-kilowatt machine. That consisted of a
horizontal shaft and two multiple row wheels
in separate casings connetted by a pipe that
ran beneath the floor. This machine was used
to generate power for the Schenectady plant
Commercial production began soon
thereafter, and a 1,500-kilowatt, horizontal
turbine was delivered to Port Huron Power
and Light Company in 1902.
Ch. 33 - 11
Curtis Turbine made by Stork