Pulsed Rotating Machine Power Supplies for Electric Combat Vehicles
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As technology for hybrid-electric propulsion, electric weapons and defensive systems are developed for future electric combat vehicles, pulsed rotating electric machine technologies can be adapted and evolved to provide the maximum benefit to these new systems. A key advantage of rotating machines is the ability to design for combined requirements of energy storage and pulsed power. An additional advantage is the ease with which these machines can be optimized to service multiple loads. Continuous duty alternators can be optimized to provide prime power energy conversion from the vehicle engine. This paper, however, will focus on pulsed machines that are best suited for intermittent and pulsed loads requiring power in range from 100 kW to several gigawatts and energy storage levels of a few megajoules to a few hundred megajoules. Providing boost power to supplement vehicle acceleration and to recover braking energy requires a few hundred kW on a 5 to 25% duty cycle for several hours. On the other extreme, firing an electromagnetic gun requires a few gigawatts on a 0.1% duty cycle for a few minutes. Loads that fall in between these extremes include elec - trothermal-chemical guns, active armors, and directed energy systems. Depending on the size and configuration of the vehicle and the mix of advanced electric power systems to be included, specialized rotating machines can be designed to maximize overall vehicle performance. In all cases, driving considerations are (1) compact size of the machine, (2) power con - version equipment that provides the interface with vehicle electrical system, and (3) any required auxiliary systems. The range of machines potentially needed to meet the needs of future combat vehicles includes iron-core and air-core compensated pulsed alternators, flywheels with both induction or permanent magnet energy conversion, and multimode machines that can operate in both pulsed and intermittent duty cycles.