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Westinghouse Proclaims ICR Engine A Success At NYC Meeting

Westinghouse said a project for developing a fuel-saving engine for the Navy was moving along well at a Feb. 15 joint meeting of the New York Metropolitan section of the Society of Marine Engineers and Naval Architects (SNAME), the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE), and the Institute of Marine Engineers (IME).

Westinghouse is the overall contractor of the WR-21 Intercooled Recuperated (ICR) engine for the U.S. Navy, the project having been developed with industry leaders like Rolls-Royce and Allied-Signal Aerospace Systems and Equipment.

According to John Chiprich, ICR Project/Applications engineering manager, the project is a success, with projections met or surpassed— and the Navy has even accelerated the timetable. The ICR promises the following: • Efficiency. "The biggest attractions are fuel efficiency and operational range," said Mr. Chiprich.

"It's a relatively flat consumption curve." The WR-21 incorporates an intercooler and recuperator into the normal engine cycle. The intercooler cools air entering the high pressure compressor, reducing the work necessary to compress the air and keep the high pressure compressor discharge temperature down to increase the effectiveness of the recuperator.

The result, according to Mr. Chiprich, is elevated power output for given air flow. Using gas turbine exhaust air, the recuperator preheats the combustion air, reportedly improving cycle efficiency. Mr. Chiprich said firing temperature is maintained at a nearly constant level over the full power range to maximize cycle efficiency, resulting in 30 percent less fuel usage against a typical Navy operating profile. At 26,400 hp, the engine is required to have a specific fuel consumption of .36 lb/hp-hr. The engine is rated 29,000 hp at 100 degrees Fahrenheit, 40 percent relative humidity at sea level.

• Environmental Friendliness. By using variable area turbine nozzles, firing temperatures are maintained nearly constant even at low power levels, reducing CO and unburned hydrocarbon emissions.

• Ease of Installation. The engine has removable panels for maintenance flexibility, and the package is relatively small: 315 inches (8,001 mm) long, 104 inches (2,642 mm) wide and 180 inches (4,572 mm) high at the recuperator housing. It weighs 110,000 lbs. (41,602 kg) on the mounts, with a total package weight of 120,000 lbs., as per Navy requirements.

• Cost Effectiveness. Mr. Chiprich estimated the ICR would save the Navy $1.5 million per year per ship, and the initial projection of 1,000 hours Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)was increased to 1,600 hours in the finished product, decreasing maintenance and repair costs.

The engine is slated for installation into an FY '96 DDG-51 Class destroyer, but commercial inquiries have reportedly already begun. "Production orders for commercial vessels can follow almost immediately," Mr. Chiprich said.

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