A steam turbine is a mechanical device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam, and converts it into rotary motion. Its modern manifestation was invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1884.
Definitions of Steam Turbine:
A machine for generating mechanical power in rotary motion from the energy of steam at temperature and pressure above that of an available sink. By far the most widely used and most powerful turbines are those driven by steam. Until the 1960s essentially all steam used in turbine cycles was raised in boilers burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, and gas) or, in minor quantities, certain waste products. However, modern turbine technology includes nuclear steam plants as well as production of steam supplies from other sources.
The illustration shows a small, simple mechanical-drive turbine of a few horsepower. It illustrates the essential parts for all steam turbines regardless of rating or complexity:
Steam turbines are ideal prime movers for driving machines requiring rotational mechanical input power. They can deliver constant or variable speed and are capable of close speed control. Drive applications include centrifugal pumps, compressors, ship propellers, and, most important, electric generators.
Though "Steam Turbines" might sound like a technical term, most of the things we do everyday would be impossible to do without this wonderful technology in power generation. Nature does not have sockets from where power plants pull out electricity to run your laptop or charge your iPod! Energy needs to be converted to electricity or electrical energy, from its natural occurrences. Steam Turbines are devices that help in the production of electricity, by converting mechanical energy into useful electrical energy! The Steam Turbine was invented by Parson, more than a century ago, and it has gone through numerous changes to become an effective power generator in today's power plants.