What is Steam?

Steam is the gaseous phase of water.  Steam is sometimes referred to as water vapor, and is formed when water boils.

What is steam used for?

Steam can be used to power a steam turbine generator, which produces electricity.  Steam is created inside the turbine generator system, usually from an outside heating source.

The list of heating sources could include nuclear heating, coal and fossil fuel heating, or concentrated solar heating.

The most fundamental point to understand about steam turbine generators and steam technology is that when water is heated and vaporized into steam in a controlled and constant space, there is an increase in pressure.

This is because once a fixed amount of water is heated into steam, the high speed water vapor molecules of steam take up more space than the original liquid water.

The gaseous steam takes up more space than liquid because the energy from the heat is stronger than the strength of the liquid molecules, which causes the liquid molecules to break apart and turn into a gas, in which the molecules are further apart, with more energy, and are moving faster.

Learning what is steam, and the properties of gas laws is a fundamental piece of understanding how a steam turbine generator works and the science of steam power.