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The Office of Naval Research has been sponsoring development of analytic tools for exploring the benefits of electric drive propulsion for naval vessels. RAND has performed an initial assessment to assist in this work. Researchers focused on developing a framework for assessing the different technologies for key components of electric propulsion, such as motors, generators, and power electronics, but did not assess specific alternatives. This documented briefing outlines the approach the authors developed for making such assessments (which uses modeling and Monte Carlo simulations), presents the quantitative methods they used to analyze the potential performance of various components, suggests how this information can be integrated to assess the affects on overall ship performance. The authors illustrate this by presenting performance metrics for several components and examining their effects on one key ship-level performance metric, ship power density for a notional electric-propulsion destroyer.

The research described in this briefing was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center supported by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the unified commands, and the defense agencies.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.

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