100 K.W. Parsons' Radial Flow Steam Turbine alternator with Generator, partly sectioned


Partly sectioned 100 K.W. Radial Flow Steam Turbine alternator with Generator, built by C. A. Parsons and Company, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1892 for the Cambridge Electric Supply Company.

The Cambridge Electric Light Station was commissioned in 1892, and had three of these turbo-generators, turning at 4,800 revolutions per minute and generating 300kW in total. These three machines were the first turbine-driven generating units using condensers, and extensive testing showed that they were equally as efficient as the most advanced reciprocating steam engines of the same power output. The commissioning of the Cambride generatig station thus marked the beginning of the end for the traditional steam engine, and the start of the rise of the steam turbine to a dominating position, still providing for the bulk of oiur energy needs today.

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Science Museum: Energy Hall Gallery

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Motive Power
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), gunmetal, paint and steel (metal)
Parsons, Charles Algernon, Sir

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