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Application of Permanent Magnet Variable Speed Drives to Auxiliary Applications…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
1996 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
1745A West Nursery Rd MS4018 Li, MD -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 1996
Title: Application of Permanent Magnet Variable Speed Drives to Auxiliary Applications on US Navy Ships
Agency / Branch: DOD / NAVY
Contract: N/A
Award Amount: $630,508.00


SatCon proposes to develop cost effective permanent magnet variable speed drives (PM VSD's) for auxiliary applications on US Navy ships by integrating high density drive electronics with innovative PM motor designs to create a standardized set of rotating power modules with common electrical and coolant interfaces. SatCon will utilize its recent experience in developing a very high power density electric power train for the Chrysler Patriot hybrid electric race car with a 800-volt DC power distribution bus. SatCon has designed high density water cooled power inverters and a 500 -hp PM energy storage wheel for this system. Current PM VSD's, although more expensive than across-the-line start induction motors of the same rating, are finding many commercial applications where the benefits precise torque and speed control and of higher power density outweigh the additional cost and complexity. Recent initiatives in the power distribution system for Navy ships (Integrate Power System program) are leading to a DC bus architecture which substantially mitigates the power electronics driven cost disadvantage of PM VSD's versus across the line start induction motors. The reduction in startup power surge and the potential for higher efficiency when delivering power to a variable load also offset the additional cost of the PM VSD. SatCon will study the cost effectiveness and performance impact of introducing PM VSD technology into ship board auxiliary systems and generate a preliminary PM VSD design for a candidate ship board application. Under Phase II SatCon will generate detailed PM VSD's for several representative ship board applications identified under Phase I. Under Phase III a prototype of a selected PM VSD design will be fabricated for ship qualification.

Principal Investigator:

Stephen B Nichols

Business Contact:

Small Business Information at Submission:

Satcon Technology Corp
161 First Street Cambridge, MA 02142

Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No