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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
, the US Navy's first aircraft carrier, was converted in 1920-22 to be the US Navy's first turbo-electric ship.
Coast Guard cutters
- California (later Uruguay), Pennsylvania (later Argentina) and Virginia (later Brazil)
- Canberra - the most powerful steam turbo-electric units in a passenger ship, 42,500 shp (31,700 kW) per shaft, 2 shafts
- Monarch of Bermuda (later New Australia and Arkadia) and Queen of Bermuda
- RMS Mooltan (as re-engined in 1929)
- Morro Castle and Oriente (later USAT Thomas H. Barry)
- Normandie - most powerful steam turbo-electric passenger ship ever, 40,000 shp (30,000 kW) per shaft (50,000 shp at max power), 4 shafts
- Potsdam and Scharnhorst (later Japanese aircraft carrier Shinyo)
- President Cleveland and President Wilson (originally planned as Admiral W. S. Benson-class transports)
- President Hoover and President Coolidge
- RMS Queen Mary 2 - powered by General Electric gas turbines as well as her diesel generators to generate the current for her four Rolls-Royce electric podded azimuth thrusters
- Santa Clara (later USS Susan B. Anthony)
- Strath-class ocean liners RMS Strathnaver and RMS Strathaird
- RMS Viceroy of India
- TEV Wahine
- TEV Rangatira - possibly the World's last steam-powered turbo-electric merchant ship; scrapped 2005
- Union Rotorua and Union Rotoiti were both built as gas turbine ships with electric transmission. Rotoiti was subsequently re-engined to diesel.
General cargo ships