Optimizing a system of gas turbine engines and generators for marine power generation

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Vijlee, Shazib Zakirhusein

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The new, all electric class of United States Navy Destroyer requires significantly more electric power than its predecessors, so the ship’s powertrain must be completely overhauled. Onboard electrical power is generated with gas turbine engine-generator sets (gen-sets) that must create a total power of 80 MW, but current systems require significant installation volume. The study begins by discussing the technology available for prime movers and electrical generators in marine power generation applications. Design and analysis methods are used to determine how size and performance vary with power for gas turbine engines, generators, and ducting. The variation in size and power is optimized to determine the ideal system as four 20 MW gen-sets. Also, the analysis includes an option for relocating some of the power generation equipment to the upper deck, effectively negating the duct volume. The optimum system will change if some, or all, of the power generation equipment can be relocated to the upper deck. A second analysis method is presented that determines the ideal operating guidelines for a predetermined system of gen-sets and a known mission profile. The guidelines are structured as to apportion power to provide the necessary power while using the minimum amount of fuel. The study then concludes with recommendations for future work.


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