Sea Technology

JUL 2013

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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Environmental Regulations Spark Power Savings, Reliability and Safety Hybrid Propulsion Combines Gas Turbine Energy, Electric Motors By Alex Bynum A s the demand for advancements in environmentally movers and auxiliary systems and further decreasing gas friendly maritime operations grows, the deemissions. This has led to the development of hybrid propulfense, commercial and passenger industries face sion systems where batteries work with diesel signifcant hurdles fueled by rising costs in and gas turbine generators and electric energy and worldwide economic chalmotors. lenges. Increasingly stringent environThe technology has undergone sigmental policies are causing sea vessels nifcant advances across a wide range of to look at ways to adapt to reduce emismarine applications over the past several sions. Thankfully, as marine operators years. explore new ship designs and technologies for achieving cleaner operations, Defense they are also realizing other benefts Within defense applications, the U.S. from hybrid drives and energy storage Navy has led the charge in employing hysolutions—including improved safety, brid propulsion systems. reliability and cost savings. In 2012, the U.S. Navy LHD-8 MaThe development of hybrid propulkin Island was named a recipient of the sion systems has been identifed among 2012 Battle Effciency (Battle "E") honindustry leaders as an ideal avenue for or, the Navy's top performance award, improving sustainable feet and port opwhich recognizes sustained superior erations. Even so, the need for hybrid performance and battle effciency in an vessels is not a new concept and has operational environment. The Makin Isexisted for centuries. In ancient times, land is the frst modern U.S. Navy ship the Trireme—or Greek three-oarers, to deploy with a hybrid propulsion sysused by ancient Phoenicians, Greeks tem and serves as an excellent example and Romans across the Mediterranean, of the technology's benefts. The ship can employed a combination of oars and be propelled by gas turbine engines or by sails. The oars were used for both priauxiliary electric propulsion motors. The mary propulsion and maneuverability system uses GE Aviation (Evendale, Ohio) in naval combat with the main intent of LM2500+ gas turbines for primary ship ramming for defense. The sails provided propulsion with electric propulsion from additional propulsion for transit. Today's the auxiliary propulsion system (APS). navies have similar needs, including During low-speed operation, the more efincreased propulsion effciency and imfcient electric propulsion is used in place proved weapons systems. of less fuel-effcient gas turbines. Although a major focus, propulsion An impressive $15 million was saved is not the only need. Today, a process during the Makin Island's frst seven known as cold ironing provides a clean- Saft's modular, scalable Intensium Flex. months of deployment. Moreover, proer operation within the hybrid technoljections estimate that the ship will save ogy concept. It includes the practice of providing electrical $250 million over the course of its 40-year service life. power to a docked ship while its main and auxiliary engines Energy storage remains of paramount importance for the are off—thus achieving strategic gains in effciency to prime world's navies. The U.S. Navy is testing hybrid propulsion 10 st / July 2013 www.sea-technology.com

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