The US Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, USS Ford (FFG 54), has successfully completed an operational transit using an alternative fuel blend from Everett, Washington to San Diego, California, US, further validating the algal oil blend..
The ship used 25,000 gallons of a 50/50 algae-derived, hydro-processed algal oil and petroleum F-76 blend in its LM 2500 gas turbines.
Naval Sea Systems Command's (NAVSEA) Navy Fuels engineering manager Richard Leung said that to minimise impact to the ship's normal operations, no personnel or instrumentation were embarked onboard the ship for the transit and also the demonstration was not the same as a quantitative test and analysis that were done previously.
"Each test has brought us a little closer to the upcoming Green Strike Group demonstration set for later this year."
During the first demonstration of the alternative fuel blend in an operational fleet ship, the ship burned the entire fuel blend with no changes made to the infrastructure of the ship or fuelling pier.
The ship's engineers were given a list of fuel and engine performance system questions and parameters to provide feedback on Ford's performance using the blend when compared to its typical fuel.
NAVSEA's alternative fuels programme is aimed to assist Navy in increasing energy security and safeguard the environment.
"We've done basically every range of research vessel we could test: the experimental Riverine Command Boat; the Naval Academy's Yard Patrol; a Landing Craft Utility, a Landing Craft Air Cushion amphibious, and Self Defense Test Ship," Leung added.
The Navy's target is to demonstrate a Green Strike Group by 2012, and deploy a strike group composed completely of alternatively powered ships by 2016.
Image: US Navy's USS Ford (FFG 54) has recently conducted operational transit using alternative fuel blend. Photo: PH1 T. COSGROVE.