Power And Propulsion

Electric power and propulsion systems

Electric power generation and propulsion is a solution optimized for an environmentally aware era, and which answers shipyard and ship-owner’s needs for fuel economy, higher flexibility (both for installation and operation), better comfort on board, increased availability and an inherent capacity to be configured for fault tolerance and graceful degradation.
GE’s Power Conversion business is a leading specialist in power and propulsion system packages including prime movers, generators, electrical distribution, fixed or variable speed drives and motors for propulsion thrusters, and large electrical systems at both medium and low voltages.

With more than 80 years experience and with a wide portfolio of customized solutions, GE applies smarter engineering to configure its power and propulsion solutions to suit the needs of each individual customer.
GE systems and solutions are at work worldwide in a diverse range of applications and ship types including warships, naval support ships, offshore vessels of all types, tankers, cruise ships, ice breakers, and more.
By listening to our customers we are able to apply GE engineering expertise to what matters most on a case by case basis, serving the diversity of their individual businesses. GE's class leading products and our customized engineering produces systems that emphasize one or more of the following attributes:

  • Improved machinery layout and space savings
  • Increased flexibility
  • Reduced noise and vibration
  • Improved reliability leading to reduced maintenance costs
  • Reduced operating costs:
    Fuel economy
    Reduced maintenance
    Reduced lost time/down time
  • Configurable for maximum system availability/redundancy

GE's complete solutions portfolio includes systems for full electric propulsion, for hybrid systems featuring electric propulsion drives trains to augment mechanical propulsion equipment, and for power take off/power take in. GE have expertise at every stage of the power and propulsion process; from gas turbines and diesel engines through to podded propulsion units and everything in between.

For each application, system engineering can include technical specifications, calculations and analysis, operational assessments and requirements analysis, feasibility studies and evaluation of alternative propulsion concepts, availability, reliability and maintenance studies, conceptual design and specification of optimized propulsion systems, shock, noise and vibration studies and integration of the power and propulsion and distribution systems components with each other and other interfaces in the vessels.  As one of the early pioneers in podded electric propulsion units GE offer solutions that emphasize hydrodynamic performance and incorporate the latest variable speed drive and motor technology.  GE designs ensure reliability, robustness, system compactness, and low levels of noise and vibration, as well as high manoeuvrability and overall system efficiency.

Electrifying the world’s naval, merchant, and offshore fleets

The U.S. Navy’s amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island features the best of GE’s power and propulsion technology. The hybrid propulsion system, comprising two GE LM2500+ gas turbine direct drive power units and GE's auxilliary electric propulsion system, enables the ships to choose the appropriate, effective, and efficient form of propulsion for each operational scenario. Following the ship’s maiden deployment, it was calculated that fuel savings amounting to  in excess of $15 million, had been accrued over the seven month period. According to the U.S. Navy, lifetime fuel savings are anticipated to be in the order of $250 million.

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