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By Leslie Spaulding - July 2000 Excerpt

A major component of Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig's June 1 visit to Philadelphia was the Integrated Power System Land Based Engineering (IPS LBES). Danzig announced the Navy's endorsement of IPS for use in the 21st Century Land Attack Destroyer (DD 21) in early January. Following his tour of the test site, he stated "The revolutionary advances associated with IPS and electric drive would not have been possible without the existence of this highly-capable test facility in Philadelphia and the engineering 'know-how' of our dedicated Navy-industry team."

This "highly-capable test facility" is in its second phase of testing to complete the full-scale advanced development phase of IPS. The IPS incorporates electric propulsion and ship service electrical distribution into a single integrated system, allowing power to be sent wherever it is needed. The efficient use of power with IPS will result in significant fuel and maintenance savings aboard U.S. Navy ships, as well as increased flexibility for future design modifications and weapon system upgrades through rapid technology insertion as existing hardware becomes obsolete. The IPS is expected to benefit the Navy by reducing ownership and construction costs and improving survivability and Naval architecture flexibility.

The initial phase of testing ran from April through June 1999. This testing consisted of operating all available IPS-associated equipment simultaneously to evaluate total system performance. Based, in part, on this proof of concept, the Navy and the DD 21 industry teams decided that IPS would be ready for Fleet introduction. Following this initial phase, the main IPS generator was removed to accommodate installation of the Intercooled Recuperated (ICR) Gas Turbine. The ICR tests ran from October through December 1999. The site was once again changed out to accommodate the IPS testing, and the IPS generator was brought back on line in early April 2000.

Currently, the site is being used to test the ships service distribution system as a stand-alone portion, using a utility feed. The IPS testing has resulted in continued Code 80/90 teaming. Some of the ship service distribution system components were originally developed by Code 80 while they were located in Annapolis, and 80 and 90 teamed to successfully transition this hardware to the IPS LBES. Now, actual IPS test data is being incorporated into a Code 80 impedance model of the ship service distribution system. Using this model, Code 80 will be able to predict how the system will perform and whether or not there are instabilities in the regions of operation.

"Based on actual test data, Code 80 will be able to make their model more accurate," said Matt Stauffer, IPS LBES Program Manager. "The goal is that they will be able to predict the performance of next generation systems based on a validated model." Working together on the joint 80/90 project were John Johnson (814), Johnson Yuen (813), Jerome Thomas (814), Tom Fikse (812), Rashid Fazal (811), Neil Hiller and Rich Zalewski (both of 934).

The next step in IPS testing is to bring some of the more-recently-developed power conversion modules on line with the propulsion motor and prove all the equipment that was delivered under the IPS contract. This phase of testing is expected to run through January 2001.

The site will then be used to test the next generation of power conversion modules. The Navy IPS Office is currently developing these modules. Basically, what is being tested now represents about 30% of the power conversion hardware that would be found on a destroyer with an IPS architecture. With this next generation testing, IPS will be used to power approximately 60% of the power conversion hardware. This equipment represents three zones aboard ship. "The main reason we're going to do the three zones is to perform better fault testing," said Stauffer. "We will simulate the ship taking a hit by short-circuiting one zone and prove that the adjacent zones stay on line. We also plan to prove more automation." This testing is slated for 2002 and 2003. The DD 21 Program has two competing industry teams who are currently developing system concept designs and life cycle engineering and support proposals to meet DD 21's operational requirements. The outcome of this competition is not known; however, the fact that the ship will be powered by an integrated power system is a given. The Advanced Propulsion and Power Generation Test Site Section (9112) is pursuing testing of DD 21 hardware following the award of the contract.

For More Information Contact:

Leslie Spaulding at spauldingl@nswccd.navy.mil or (215) 897-7702.



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