The paper “High-Speed Generators for Power-Dense, Medium-Power, Gas Turbine Generator Sets” was published in the Naval Engineers Journal, Spring 2007, Volume 119, Number 2 edition. The authors have done an outstanding job in addressing electric plant generator options as part of an overall system optimization across multiple attributes, as well as presenting and discussing the individual technologies and their shipboard implementation in this exceptional technical paper.
The authors identify, develop, and evaluate several concepts to improve turbine generator set power density. Their evaluation focuses on the turbine generator set as a part of overall system optimization, with weight and volume penalties for special auxiliaries. Power density is given priority, while other attributes such as efficiency, acoustics, and total system cost are also assessed. The strengths and weaknesses of each concept are assessed based on technical viability, potential for power density improvement, and risk.
The authors investigated sixty-one generator concepts over four generator types and evaluated them using three different ship-level electrical distribution architectures. They conclude that integrated power systems designed to utilize direct-driven high-speed technology enable system weight improvements independent of the generator technology selected. Further, high temperature superconducting, permanent magnet, and water-cooled wound field technologies are all possible concept alternatives, and the selection of a particular configuration yields significant trade-offs in compatibility with shipboard applications, tactical operational availability, developmental and programmatic risk, and cost.
The authors’ explanation of the fundamental technologies is clearly written and well-presented in graphical forms. They clearly have a superior knowledge of the subject matter and have explained it so that a wide audience can benefit from the results of the study. They are indeed highly deserving of the Society’s 2007 “Jimmie” Hamilton Award.