Impacts of electric propulsion systems on submarine design.
Ballard, Michael A.
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A theoretical study was carried out on the effects of replacing submarine turbine-reduction gear propulsion drive systems with an equivalent electric drive system. Alternating current (A.C.) and direct current (D.C.) systems were designed using computer based machine synthesis programs. The systems considered included direct drive motors operating at the speed of the submarine drive shaft and motors operating at higher speeds in conjunction with integral single stage reduction gears. Methods to improve the efficiency of the various motors for speeds other than rated speed were examined. The impacts of the electric system designs were evaluated in terms of the ability of a mechanical drive submarine design to accept the replacement of the mechanical components with the equivalent electric components and meet standard submarine design closure criteria. All electric drive variants met the basic naval architectural feasibility requirements. Electric drive systems were heavier, required less arrangeable volume and were generally less efficient than the mechanical baseline ship. Gear reduced electric systems were lighter and more than the direct drive, low speed motor based systems. Electric submarine drive is a feasible alternative to conventional mechanical, locked train transmission systems. Electric drive installations carry penalties in terms of added weight and reduced propulsion plant efficiency that must be recognized and accepted by the ship designer. Keywords: Theses; Submarine engineering; Electric propulsion system
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