Thursday, August 1, 2013

US Navy Set to Lauch Floating Macro Micro Grid

You can do a lot with 78 megawatts, including power 26,000 homes, for instance. Or you use it to run absolutely everything on one of the Navy's newest warships.

I'll let IEEE explain:
The Zumwalt’s propellers and drive shafts are turned by electric motors, rather than being directly attached to combustion engines. Such electric-drive systems, while a rarity for the U.S. Navy, have long been standard on big ships. What’s new and different about the one on the Zumwalt is that it’s flexible enough to propel the ship, fire railguns or directed-energy weapons (should these eventually be deployed), or [all] at the same time.
That’s because the 78 megawatts from its four gas-turbine generators can be directed through the ship’s power-distribution network wherever it’s needed. The presence of such a tightly integrated power-generation and distribution system has led some to call the Zumwalt the U.S. Navy’s first “all-electric ship.”
It's the flexibility to service all those different loads that draws my micro grid reference. Maybe I'm wrong about this. Or maybe all large ships can be considered micro grids, as no matter what they're burning, coal, diesel, jet fuel, or fissioning uranium-235 or plutonium-239, they all have to be able to dispatch that energy to where it's needed, and there's certainly no external grid to fall back on (except when docked, that is).

Took a long time to get this ship built. Interesting to see what we design next based on lessons learned here.  Building the new designs, well now that's another matter entirely these days.


URL for full article


Image credit: Bangor Daily News

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