Also found in: Acronyms.
a ship propelled by a steam turbine or by a gas turbine.
The first steam-turbine ship was the British Turbinia, built in 1894, which had three steam turbines with a total power output of 1.47 megawatts (MW), or 2,000 hp; it displaced 44 tons and had a maximum speed of about 34 knots (62 km/hour). Steam turbines were introduced almost simultaneously for use in warships (1899) and in passenger ships (1901). Steam-turbine engines, which were the most powerful main marine engines as of 1976, are installed in the largest oceangoing tankers, bulk carriers, barge-carrying ships, fast container ships, passenger ships, and warships. By 1976, nearly one-third (by gross tonnage) of all operating oceangoing merchant ships were equipped with steam turbines with maximum unit power outputs of more than 40 MW; freighters with steam-turbine installations having a power output of 88–100 MW are in the design stage. The power plant of a steam-turbine ship consists of one or two steam boilers and a main steam turbine coupled to the ship propeller by a gear drive. Some steam-turbine ships have two or more propellers. Mazut is ordinarily used as fuel.
Gas-turbine warships were introduced between 1943 and 1948. Gas turbines were first used in oceangoing merchant ships in 1951, when a gas-turbine engine was installed in the British tanker Auris. Gas turbines are ordinarily used in ships with a very powerful main engine.
In the Soviet merchant fleet, the multipurpose dry-cargo freighter Parizhskaia Kommuna, which began operating in 1968, is equipped with a 9.5-MW gas turbine. Timber freighters of the Pavlin Vinogradov class have 2.94-MW turbines and have been in operation since 1960. The roll-on, roll-off ship Atlantika, built in 1977, has two 18.4-MW turbines.
Light aircraft gas turbines and marine gas turbines are used in hydrofoils and marine ground-effect machines. The power plant of a gas-turbine ship consists of a gas generator—either a combustion chamber or a free-piston gas generator—and a gas turbine coupled to the propeller shaft by a gear drive. The turbines run on standard gas-turbine fuel.
E. G. LOOVINOVICH