A Design Tool For The Evaluation Of Atmosphere Independent Propulsion In Submarines
Thornton, Grant B.
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For the United States Navy, submarine propulsion has long since evolved from Diesel Electric to a complete reliance on Nuclear Power. Nuclear propulsion is the ultimate atmosphere independent power source...the submarine to divorce itself from the surface, limited only by the ...crew embarked. Submarine construction and operating costs have grown dramatically, due largely to the cost of the high performance nuclear propulsion plant. Other options exist to provide Atmosphere Independent Propulsion of similar capability for extended underwater periods at a potentially lower cost. This thesis explores the aspects of non-nuclear atmosphere independent propulsion as an integral part of the submarine design process, focus.lng on methods for power generation and various options for fuel and oxidant storage. Fuel sources include pure hydrogen, stored cryogenically or in metal hydrides, or more common fuels such as diesel or methanol, used either directly or in a reformed state. Oxidants include pure oxygen, stored cryogenically or in compressed form. as well as hydrogen peroxide and sodium perchlorate. Energy conversion methods examined include mechanical such as closed cycle diesels, Brayton cycles and Stirling engines, to electro-chemical designs, such as fuel cells and aluminum oxygen semi- cells. A computer code was written which integrates these propulsion options with mission and owner's requirements to provide a balanced design in terms of matching the weights and volumes of the equipment installed. This code will serve as a tool for the concept design of non-nuclear air independent submarines.
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