In Star Trek (2009), when Kirk and Scott got transwarped to USS Enterprise, Scott ended up in a water pipe and there was also water turbine type structure. I thought it was water pump which was pumping water or a similar more efficient coolant.

And then, I listened:

Security, seal the engineering deck. We have intruders in turbine section 3. Set phasers to stun.

Thank you very much.

From Wikipedia:

A turbine is a rotary mechanical device that extracts energy from a fluid flow and converts it into useful work.

As there's no natural waterfall available, any work extraction from the flow would be dumb. Here, electricity generation can efficiently be replaced with wire and shaft work can efficiently be replaced by an electric motor.

Enough mocking the writers... It's entirely possible that 23rd century engineers decided to name an entirely different device as turbine. Or, they figured out new features of turbine.

What's the purpose of water turbine on-board USS Enterprise?


Why does it have to be a water turbine? There are lots of different kinds of turbine, steam, gas, etc.

Its often not understood that nuclear powered ships and submarines are steam turbine vessels. (One of the reasons nuclear subs are so noisy - shaft gearing). The pile heats a transfer fluid, this is run through a heat exchanger to produce steam and then the turbine is geared to the main prop shafts. (Usually, they can run generators & then electric motors run main shafting but this is less common).

So, a steam turbine is a perfectly valid and quite efficient way to generate power from any heat source..

  • 2
    Definitely, steam wasn't flowing through those pipes. – Baby Yoda Jul 1 '17 at 13:33
  • 3
    There is a lot more than steam going on a turbine room. Water is often used for cooling, and it may be that the pipe is just passing through on the wsy to somewhere else. Also you are looking for engineering consistancy from screen writers? I seem to remember the pipe is transparent, who would do that? – pHred Jul 1 '17 at 13:39
  • and it may be that the pipe is just passing through on the wsy to somewhere else. ~> No, it was clearly shown that Scott was going to kiss the blades of turbine and that's why Kirk needed to open the hatch. – Baby Yoda Jul 1 '17 at 18:10
  • 1
    I seem to remember the pipe is transparent ~> Yes, but when you have transparent aluminium, why not? #RuleOfCool – Baby Yoda Jul 1 '17 at 18:12

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