'Future of Naval Propulsion Electrifying' Says GE Expert
GE showcases futuristic technologies that could set new standards in electrical naval propulsion at Paris Euronaval Expo.
“I’ve seen the future of naval propulsion, and it’s electrifying,” observed GE Power Conversion’s (NYSE: GE) Captain Mark Dannatt Royal Navy (retd.), speaking during this week’s Euronaval exhibition and conference in Paris.
Capt. Dannatt’s comments came as he outlined the latest advances in advanced naval electrical technology from a GE perspective. “Working with the world’s leading navies gives us what may be a unique perspective on the trends that are emerging and a view into the future. Our systems include some of the most advanced and respected solutions in every part of the power generation and drive train from our gas turbines and diesel engines through power distribution systems, variable speed drives, generators and propulsion motors to automation and control systems, which means that we get to see and set trends when they are still in their infancy.”
Against this background, Captain Dannatt believes that we have entered the age of electrically powered and propelled warships and support vessels. “It’s increasingly common for naval ship designers to be directed to give increased weighting to through life costs of naval ships including fuel consumption and routine maintenance costs based on their selected power and propulsion options,” says Dannatt. “These studies often conclude that some form of electrical propulsion is worthy of further investigation based not only on fuel and maintenance costs but also on the consequential impact on improvements in ship availability and extended operational autonomy”.
Many of the world’s leading navies are now employing some form of electric propulsion somewhere in their fleets—the decision making process leading to the selection of this technology commonly follows detailed design studies supported by GE's Power Conversion business including feasibility studies into the various alternative propulsion concepts and an in depth analysis of technical, operational and through life support parameters.