Publication Detail

Integrated Contra-Rotating Propulsion Drives for Thurst-Dense Propulsion Systems

Chryssostomos Chryssostomidis, James Kirtley, A. Slocum, Julie Chalfant
2009
8 pp.

As the Navy moves forward with electric-propulsion based ships, there is clearly a significant motivation for reducing the size, fuel consumption and life-cycle cost of the largest electrical load – the propulsion system. We have identified several technologies that, when used in conjunction, have the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of the propulsion system while simultaneously significantly reducing the associated weight and volume. Thus, we propose basic research into an alternative propulsion scheme involving three specific technologies: contra-rotating propellers, contra-rotating motors, and doubly-fed motors.
In particular, an integrated contra-rotating propulsion system will be considered. In this system, two axially-aligned contra-rotating propellers are used; such an arrangement has significant hydrodynamic and thus fuel-saving benefits. However, the salient feature of the proposed arrangement is that rather than turning each propeller with its own dedicated motor, the two propellers will be driven by a single contra-rotating machine. For a given propulsion power requirement, such a machine will operate at twice the speed but half the torque of a conventional single-motor single-propeller arrangement. This translates into a reduction of machine mass by over one-half. Further, the contra-rotating machine could be doubly-fed, resulting in a motor of equivalent size to the standard contra-rotating machine, but with power electronics sized at about one-fifth of that for a singly-fed machine.

type: Technical reports

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Parent Project

Project No.: 2008-ESRDC-01-LEV
Title: Electric Ship Research and Development Consortium (ESRDC)

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