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The design of an integrated electric propulsion (IEP) system is considered for naval submarine propulsion. A multi-objective genetic algorithm is used to explore potential IEP topologies and designs, including direct-drive, geared-drive and hybrid steam-turbine/electric drive. Typical submarine mission scenarios are simulated and trade-offs in performance are investigated. Compromises in propeller and electric motor efficiency are found, as are large discrepancies in electric motor technology and the technology required for the realisation of direct-electrical propulsion. Multiple electric motors and a hybrid drive approach are found to reduce this discrepancy to an extent that IEP becomes a feasible propulsion option.
Date of Conference: 21-23 May 2007