FITCHBURG, Mass., 23 Oct. 2010. The DRS Technologies Inc. Power Technologies facilities in Fitchburg and Hudson, Mass., have taken another step in testing and deploying a hybrid electric drive propulsion system for U.S. Navy surface warships, which experts say holds the potential to save thousands of barrels of fuel per ship each year.
DRS engineers have completed assembly and component testing of the company's Hybrid Electric Drive (HED) permanent-magnet motor, a key element of a prototype hybrid electric drive system for the U.S. Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class (DDG 51) destroyer, the company announced this past week. DRS, a Finmeccanica company, is teaming with General Atomics in San Diego to provide the proof-of-concept HED system under a contract awarded by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in July 2009.
This latest developmental milestone clears the way for integrating and testing the permanent magnet motor with the HED system converter -- also built by DRS -- at the DRS Power & Controls Technology segment in Milwaukee. Integrated full-load testing of the system, including control interfaces, subsequently will be at the General Atomics facility in Tupelo, Miss., before being delivered to the Navy’s land based engineering site in Philadelphia, where the Navy will test it next spring.
Navy and industry experts will install the hybrid electric drive system on the guided missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) for an at-sea demonstration in 2012. This hybrid electric drive will power the ship at low speeds by integrating the permanent magnet motor with the ship’s main reduction gear, which will enable the vessel to reduce the operating hours of its primary gas turbine power plant.