GE Introduces Alternative Technology For Naval Ship Propulsion
GE Marine & Industrial Engines (M&IE) introduces the LM2500R gas turbine, touted as an alternative technology for naval ship propulsion. The proposed LM2500R design is a recuperated version of GE's widely used LM2500 gas turbine, which recently has been uprated to 29,500 bhp for U.S. Navy combatant ships and to 32,000 bhp for the U.S. Navy Sealift program.
Some benefits of the new design include: - significant improvement in the part power efficiency of the LM2500: more than 30 percent at lower power levels; - minimal changes to the current engine design to make retrofit to LM2500-powered ships practical and installation in new surface combatants as simple as possible; - elimination of cost and time required to develop a new aeroderivative engine system aimed at comparable fuel savings: the LM2500R development is one-tenth the cost of the alternative technology currently being pursued and can be implemented in one-half to one-third of the time. Some features of the new LM2500R include: - retention of the present 16-stage compressor, all high pressure and power turbine discs, most of the support structure, and all support bearings and shafting to provide a high degree of commonality with the current LM2500 engine; - a thermodynamically and aerodynamically direct replacement to the present combustor with the shorter, current production CF6- 80C2/LM6000 combustor design; - the redesign of the high pressure turbine blades and vanes to open the nozzle area by 10 percent; - installation of variable area turbine nozzles in the power turbine to maintain high cycle temperature at partial power; - modification to the compressor rear frame and combustor casing to provide air to and from the recuperator.
Upgrade of an LM2500 gas turbine to the LM2500R configuration can be done in lieu of an overhaul at little additional cost. Upgrading one LM2500 gas turbine module per shaft on CG-47 and DDG-51 class ships to the LM2500-recuperated configuration would provide significant fuel savings, together with the operational benefits of increased range. GE estimates that within three years, it could complete development of the LM2500R and begin retrofitting the Navy's fleet with LM2500Rs.
The LM2500 marine propulsion gas turbine currently powers the U.S. Navy's entire fleet of surface combatants, which consist of more than 140 frigates and destroyers. The Navy has nearly 500 LM2500s for its existing and planned ships.
GE Marine & Industrial Engines is headquartered in Evendale, Ohio.
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