Title: The Hour Of Power – Hybrid Technology for Military Applications
Author: John Haynes
Abstract: The professional maritime sector is now recognising the potential of utilising hybrid power and innovative propulsion systems for sub IMO / sub 80 feet vessels. Certain sectors are potentially well suited to hybrid systems including ferries, pilot boats and workboats that have relatively consistent duty cycles. For military applications hybrid systems, including diesel with battery / electric, are relevant to patrol, interception and autonomous vessel duties.
The Hour Of Power concept focuses on hybrid solutions linked to vessel work cycles and engine duty cycles. The concept enables vessels to run in and out of port for an hour on electric with battery power - then carry out their open sea work on diesel power. The aim of this innovative hybrid solution is to enhance conventional power and propulsion systems. Vessels can reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption whilst extending engine maintenance periods and engine life.
Hybrid systems give military vessels the ability to turn off main engines then loiter silently on station with a low heat signature. Patrol vessels use their main engines to move rapidly from point to point, once in position a vessel can patrol slowly on battery / electric power. This will be particularly relevant to vessels undertaking port or estuary patrols. On the water stealth mobility has many applications for customs, borders and infrastructure protection. Riverine operations benefit from a silent running mode when patrolling or transiting towards an area of interest. For specialist operations stored energy can be utilised to approach a target in silence.