The first functioning steam turbine was developed back in 1885 by Charles Parsons and the basic concept and design of the turbine has changed very little and even today, steam turbines account for over three-quarters of the electricity we produce.
Steam turbines offer a great many advantages when it comes to power production, including:
- Scalability. The dimensions and sizes of steam turbines are scalable, meaning they can be adapted to suit practically any application imaginable.
- Universality. Because of the predictability of the pressure and temperature of steam, it can be used in any environment across the globe.
- Durability. Steam turbines can handle excessive heat without compromising performance.
- Compatibility. Because the energy source is isolated from the power production, a variety of different fuels can be used (biomass, coal, municipal waste, etc.). This advantage does not exist with other systems, such as gas or diesel engines and gas turbines.
- Reliability. The predictability and reliability of steam turbines make them ideal candidates for the base operation of any power generation system.