A steam turbine is a device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam and uses it to do mechanical work on a rotating output shaft. Its modern manifestation was invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1884, in 1551, Taqi al-Din in Ottoman Egypt described a steam turbine with the practical application of rotating a spit. Steam turbines were described by the Italian Giovanni Branca and John Wilkins in England. The devices described by Taqi al-Din and Wilkins are today known as steam jacks, in 1672 an impulse steam turbine driven car was designed by Ferdinand Verbiest. A more modern version of car was produced some time in the late 18th century by an unknown German mechanic. The modern steam turbine was invented in 1884 by Sir Charles Parsons, the invention of Parsons steam turbine made cheap and plentiful electricity possible and revolutionized marine transport and naval warfare. Parsons design was a reaction type and his patent was licensed and the turbine scaled-up shortly after by an American, George Westinghouse. The Parsons turbine also turned out to be easy to scale up. Parsons had the satisfaction of seeing his invention adopted for all major world power stations, a number of other variations of turbines have been developed that work effectively with steam. The de Laval turbine accelerated the steam to full speed before running it against a turbine blade, De Lavals impulse turbine is simpler, less expensive and does not need to be pressure-proof. It can operate with any pressure of steam, but is less efficient. He taught at the École des mines de Saint-Étienne for a decade until 1897, one of the founders of the modern theory of steam and gas turbines was Aurel Stodola, a Slovak physicist and engineer and professor at the Swiss Polytechnical Institute in Zurich. His work Die Dampfturbinen und ihre Aussichten als Wärmekraftmaschinen was published in Berlin in 1903, a further book Dampf und Gas-Turbinen was published in 1922. It was used in John Brown-engined merchant ships and warships, including liners, the present-day manufacturing industry for steam turbines is dominated by Chinese power equipment makers. Other manufacturers with minor market share include Bhel, Siemens, Alstom, GE, Doosan Škoda Power, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan projects that manufacturing of steam turbines will become more consolidated by 2020 as Chinese power manufacturers win increasing business outside of China. There are several classifications for modern steam turbines, Turbine blades are of two basic types, blades and nozzles. Blades move entirely due to the impact of steam on them and this results in a steam velocity drop and essentially no pressure drop as steam moves through the blades. A turbine composed of alternating with fixed nozzles is called an impulse turbine, Curtis turbine, Rateau turbine
The rotor of a modern steam turbine used in a power plant
A 250 kW industrial steam turbine from 1910 (right) directly linked to a generator (left).
Diagram of an AEG marine steam turbine circa 1905
A low-pressure steam turbine in a nuclear power plant. These turbines exhaust steam at a pressure below atmospheric.