U.S. Navy tests the most powerful high-speed generator ever built

U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division - Ship Systems Engineering Station (NSWCCD-SSES) engineers conducted full scale testing of a 7,000 rpm, 6,600 volt, 14-megawatt high-speed generator (HSG) at the Land Based Test Site, September 19. The prototype provides six times more power than lower speed, conventionally cooled, similar sized generators currently available.

"This testing was performed on the most powerful high speed generator ever built," said Eric Manna, lead test engineer from Electric Power Research and Development Branch at NSWCCD-SSES. "This design is a significant step forward in advancing state-of-the-art HSGs with advanced cooling systems in order to achieve the power density levels necessary for future ship designs."

The HSG test site incorporates about a dozen prototype components and systems. The HSG includes a high-speed advanced rotor coil cooling system unlike any other generator, allowing for safe operation at the high speeds and high voltage. NSWCCD-SSES successfully completed initial testing of the HSG for durations of an hour in late 2012.

After modifications to reduce vibration, the team successfully demonstrated the HSG in operation for a period of eight hours with an output at full load. The testing also demonstrated initial operation of the six-phase automatic voltage regulator prototype, which provides steady voltage output from the generator under various load conditions. The HSG research was initiated to develop the power plant for the next generation cruiser CG(X) platform and NSWCCD-SSES completed the research utilizing Naval Innovation for Science and Engineering (NISE) funds.

The NISE program provides the DoD science and engineering organizations the capability to develop and transition technology as well as develop the workforce and enhance laboratory facilities and equipment. "Through this NISE-funded work force development project, we were able to increase our technical knowledge for the installation, troubleshooting, and operation of high speed generators and will be able to apply what we learned developing high speed naval machinery for future classes of Navy ships," said Dr. E. Michael Golda, Machinery Research and Engineering Department chief technologist.

During the testing, senior engineers served as mentors to more than 20 junior engineers to complete the high-value, research and development testing of new technologies in a laboratory environment providing them with direct, hands-on experience on cutting-edge technology. A command within the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Ship Systems Engineering Station, Philadelphia, is a major component of Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division. It is the Navy's principal Test and Evaluation Station and In-Service Engineering Agent for all hull, mechanical and electrical ship systems and equipment and has the capability to test and engineer the full range of shipboard systems and equipment from full-scale propulsion systems to digital controls and electric power systems.