Creation of a modeling and simulation environment for thermal management of an all-electric ship

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Paullus, Patrick Earl

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The United States Navy is committed to development of an All-Electric Ship (AES) architecture as the basis for future warships. To support of this endeavor, in 2002 the Office of Naval Research consolidated the work of a small group of national universities with expertise in this arena and created the Electric Ship Research and Development Consortium (ESRDC). As an ESRDC member, a research element from the University of Texas at Austin has been pursuing work that will provide information and tools to better address thermal management issues aboard the future AES. As one element of this work, the thermal management group has been focused on development of physicsbased, dynamic models of components and subsystems to simulate notional future AES system-level architectures. Under the Navy's AES concept, the future warship will employ an unprecedented amount of high power electronics creating an equally unprecedented and critical cooling requirement. The scope of thermal management research captures both mature technologies such as new active radar suites, and evolving technologies such as the electromagnetic railgun. As these technologies are further developed for system implementation, it is abundantly clear that there will be an ever increasing demand for electrical power - and for cooling capacity. The paradigm shift in how power is produced and distributed will greatly enhance available power on an AES. To date, there has not been a similar shift that will greatly enhance cooling capacity. By simulating future architectures and quantitatively addressing the issues, this discrepancy will be better understood and potential problems can be avoided. In pursuit of a global approach to the thermal management issue, a simulation environment has been developed to assist in evolution of system-level simulations using multidisciplinary representations of subsystems and components. This thesis addresses how generic physical components are created and how they are simulated in a software environment. The creation of specific thermal/fluid component models is also presented. Using these models, a system-level simulation of a freshwater chilling loop on a DDG-51 class destroyer has been performed. This system serves as a baseline from which to test the software as well as the basis from which other physics-based models might be developed and introduced into the environment.


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