Power to Our (Naval) Elbow?

by Stuart Slade, Senior Naval & Marine Power Systems Analyst, Forecast International.

LM500 Ships Service Generator. Source: GE Marine

The last decade has seen the promise of a new generation of naval weapons and sensors.  The development of railguns and lasers has caused these weapons to slowly emerge from the pages of fiction and become an impending if not quite fully realized reality.  They are directed by equally new generations of active-array radars that provide a level of range and target discrimination that enables the long-sought defense against ballistic missile attack. These new systems have a major factor in common: they are all voracious consumers of electrical power. Continue reading

Steam Turbines Adapt to the Changing Power-Generating Landscape

by Carter Palmer, Power Systems Specialist, Forecast International.

Steam Turbine Production at LMZ.

Steam turbines have been the cornerstone of electrical power production since the late 19th century. Found to be more efficient than reciprocating engines, the steam turbine helped usher in a modern age. Utilizing steam gives the turbine flexibility in the fuel used to produce that steam. Anything that can burn is basically a candidate; however, lately the fuels themselves have become questionable. Countries around the world have been struggling to mitigate the burning of potentially eco-unfriendly fuels to create energy. So what is to become of the highly efficient steam turbine? Continue reading