It's not exactly your typical hybrid vehicle. The DDG 51 is a naval destroyer that's been in use for quite a while now. And though the US government has some newer, fancier ships, they cost a pretty penny. So the DDG 51's are getting some upgrades. Better sonar and radar, upgraded communications equipment and, yes, a hybrid-electric drive.
These destroyers have a top speed of 35 miles her hour, but, like most gas guzzlers, they generally go much slower than that. However, their engines aren't well suited to these slower speeds. So GE and General Atomics have joined together to put in an electric drive system that basically uses the ships electrical generators to move it along at low-speeds. The electric drive can also be used to perform low-speed maneuvering when the ship is anchored. The result is a 16% decrease in fuel use for the DDG 51 which translates into 12,000 BARRELS of oil per ship per year.
Yeah, that's more than what you'll save by switching to a hybrid. But it didn't cost you 33 million dollars did it?
written by Fred, July 20, 2009
written by Richard Fletcher, July 28, 2009
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