Friday, November 11, 2011

U.S. Navy Ship Set for Alt Fuel Demo

Having powered jet fighters, helicopters and small craft with alternative fuels, the U.S. Navy will conduct its largest-yet demonstration next week when a former destroyer takes to sea with a mixture of algal oil and diesel fuel.
The former destroyer Paul F. Foster will be the largest ship yet to operate with so-called alternative fuels. (U.S. Navy)
The Paul F. Foster, a Spruance-class destroyer now used for experimental purposes, will sail from Point Loma in San Diego to her base at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Port Hueneme, Calif., powered by a 50-50 blend of hydro-processed algal oil and F-76 petroleum, the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) said Nov. 10.
The alt fuel will power one of the ship's LM2500 gas turbines used for propulsion, and the ship's service gas turbine.
The short, overnight transit is part of a commitment by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to demonstrate a Green Strike Group in 2012 and deploy a strike group composed completely of alternatively powered ships, "the Great Green Fleet," by 2016, NAVSEA said in a press release.
In October, the Navy demonstrated the algal oil-F-76 fuel aboard a landing craft utility at Little Creek, Va., where a riverine combat craft also operated with the fuel mix. Yard Patrol training vessels at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., have also used the alt fuel.
Several different aircraft types have flown with alternative fuels, including F/A-18 Super Hornet and F-15 Eagle jet fighters, a T-45C Goshawk training jet, an EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft, an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter and an MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopter.
Another alt fuel test of a Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC) vehicle is to take place in December at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Panama City, Fla.

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