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Discussion Starter #1
Around 1925-27, the RN commissioned a cruiser named Adventure, which like all RN ships at the time was steam turbine driven. But unlike the others, this ship also had the option of diesel-electric drive at cruising speed, which was, not unreasonably, expected to more than double the range. Two diesel generators were fitted for this purpose, supplying the power to drive the motors which could be connected to each main gearbox, evidently through some form of clutch. This was in the nature of an experiment, with substantial potential benefits for all RN ships.
Nothing came of it, however, and the electric drive equipment was removed sometime during WW2.
Information about the ship and the results of the experiment is nearly non-existent, so far as I can find. Does anyone know of anywhere I might find some? Thanks in advance.
 

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Some of the questions in my mind:
Since power supplies on RN ships at that time were all DC, presumably this was the case with the Adventure’s propulsion supply too. The ease with which DC motor speed can be varied, and even reversed, would also be attractive. (On the other hand, reliability of the diesel engines of that era may not have compared with that of steam, so manoeuvring in diesel-electric drive may not have been trusted). However, the power to drive the ship at cruising speed must have been comparatively high, so it is possible that a voltage higher than the usual 220 was used, as this would have had the usual benefits associated with HV power transmission.
I seem to recall reading somewhere that the ship had to stop for several hours while changing from steam to electric drive, and perhaps when changing back again. This is intriguing because the RN had plenty of experience of connecting and disconnecting cruising turbines, various forms of clutches having been devised for this. So the question is why it took so long, this being a decided weakness in a warship. To some extent, it also conflicts with the statement in Wikipedia that the diesel-electric drive allowed the ship to get under way at shorter notice than the usual time to raise steam and warm-through the turbines.
One practical difficulty which may have arisen could have been the need to maintain vacuum in the main condenser when in electric drive, because the turbines would surely have been driven by the gearing at that time. Of course, to an engine-room crew steeped in steam practice, this should not have presented a problem, only demanding that one boiler continue steaming at all times, and that turbines be turned regularly when the telegraph was at “Stop” or “Standby”. Could have this been seen as a disadvantage?
 
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