1. Has initiated, and is following, a development path for those basic power generation, distribution and control, and propulsion technologies that are critical for shipboard implementation;
  2. Has initiated a path whereby this capability can be used to backfit existing hulls in a hybrid configuration and be fully electric in new construction platforms; and
  3. Provides a path for developing those critical technologies and beginning the integration of both hybrid and fully electric systems into the fleet during the next decade.

The concept appears to be sound, the enabling technologies are achievable, and the opportunity is now available to initiate a major change in the generation and use of electric power aboard ship. The benefits to the naval forces could be significant and far reaching. Advances in materials used in electromagnetic machinery, such as high-field permanent magnets and high-temperature superconductors, present opportunities for substantial increases in power density and efficiency. The electric ship approach is enabled by the ongoing revolution in electronics where advancements in solid-state semiconductor technology are being applied to power semiconductor devices. The emergence of direct electric conversion technologies, such as fuel cells, offers potential for fuel-efficient, low-emission, and low-noise sources of electrical power.

Within the plan, the Department of the Navy's integrated propulsion system (IPS) architecture will allow incorporation of developing technologies such as permanent magnet (PM) electric machines, fuel cells, and the power electronic building block (PEBB) architecture into future ship designs as programmed, preplanned replacements for the core technology in the first-generation IPS modules. Use of technology-independent module interface standards will facilitate technology insertion with minimum impact on the ship design and construction process.

IPS with electric propulsion motors allows for consideration of integrated motor and propulsor concepts. The steerable podded propulsor provides the greatest potential for meeting naval hydrodynamic and hydroacoustic requirements while also being competitive with conventional propulsors on commercial ships.

The benefits of ship electrification are as follows:

  • Combat systems effectiveness. Integrated electric power and propulsion systems enable design flexibility that, in turn, will facilitate the optimization of topside arrangements for maximum combat system effectiveness.
  • Survivability. The elimination of gear trains and propeller shafts, together with the flexibility and modularity of electric systems, will enable graceful degradation and rapid reconfiguration of vital systems, thus enhancing survivability.
  • Signature reduction and quieting. By eliminating the mechanical link between the power plant and the propulsor (i.e., propeller), electric drive will

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