A Northrop Grumman’s led team has been selected by the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) to begin a design of a 40-megawatt high-temperature superconductor (HTS) generator intended to provide a smaller, lighter and quieter main power source for future surface combatants. Under this initial nine-month contract, Northrop Grumman Marine Systems, teamed with American Superconductor Corporation, will complete a concept design and explore different configurations of the HTS generator while assessing the impact on generator and cooling selection characteristics.
The Navy has an option to exercise an additional 3-year contract worth $3.9 million to continue the studies that will help evaluate differences from conventional generator designs while validating weight, size, acoustic performance and cost for a 40 MW high-temperature superconductor generator. "High-power weapon and sensor systems demand increased power," said Carol Armstrong, deputy vice president for Northrop Grumman's Marine Systems business unit. "As the U.S. Navy transitions to an all-electric surface ship, superconductivity will be a key enabling technology for achieving these power density goals."
As the program lead, Northrop Grumman will provide trade studies, generator concept design, main turbine generator concept design, systems engineering, systems modeling and integration tasks. American Superconductor will provide trade studies, determine the electromagnetic parameters for the generator concept design, study superconducting materials, and provide the rotor, exciter and cryogenic systems concept design for the generator.