US Navy test ship tests 100% alternative fuels
The US Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division's (NSWC PHD) Self Defense Test Ship (SDTS), ex-Paul F Foster, has successfully completed the last testing phase with two alternative fuels, it was announced on 7 July.
The two fuels were developed using different methods - Catalytic Hydrothermolysis Conversion Diesel (CHCD) and Synthetic Iso-Paraffin (SIP). CHCD is a military grade replacement for traditional military-grade petroleum-based fuel (F-76) that is 100 percent non-petroleum sourced. SIP is a fuel derived from alternative feedstock and blended with F-76 with 20 percent non-petroleum sourced.
The SDTS was filled with around 30,000 gallons of the alternative fuels in San Diego. The ship then completed a normal cruise, demonstrating that the alternative fuels can function as drop-in replacements for existing petroleum-sourced fuels without requiring changes to operating procedures or equipment.
Powered by the alternatively-sourced fuels, the ship completed multiple engine starts and speed changes, with no qualitative, operational and mechanical differences when operating on either fuel. The fuels had previously been put through component and full-scale engine, and fit-for-purpose testing. The component and full-scale engine testing included performance tests to determine the combustion quality and emissions.
Diane Mattingly, in-service engineer with Naval Surface Warfare Command, Philadelphia Division, said: ‘The goal is to qualify as many alternative fuel sources as possible. A range of operational fuel sources will give our mission planners and commanders increased operational flexibility.’
The project saw the involvement of NSWC Philadelphia Division, NSWC PHD, Defense Logistics Agency, Naval Supply Systems Command, Naval Air Systems Command, Naval Sea Systems Command, and the office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Energy (DASN Energy).
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