New electrical enclosures on US Navy ships could bring $76m in savings

Illustration: US Navy photo of USS Carney (DDG 64) in the Mediterranean Sea.

A US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) team has developed new composite-material shipboard electrical enclosures which could save the navy over $76 million in recurring maintenance and sparing costs over a 30-year period.

Shipboard electrical enclosures, such as those used for power junction and communication devices, are constantly exposed to the sea’s harsh environment.

Over time, the exposure results in significant maintenance effort and cost to the navy. Because of this, the NAVSEA’s Commonality Lead Support Activity (CLSA) identified enclosures as an opportune project for deep dive analysis.

The team compared the metallic enclosures used throughout the fleet, against enclosures made of a plastic composite. The analysis found that use of the composite material will not only prevent corrosion of the enclosures themselves, but also the resulting corrosion that forms on hull areas adjacent to the enclosures.

“Implementing the recommendations of this analysis will reduce ships’ force maintenance burden, as well as the total ownership cost of ships across the fleet,” NAVSEA said.


Commonality Initiative

NAVSEA’s initiative for commonality began in 2007 and Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia Division has been involved with this effort since the beginning.

“We’ve been honing our skills in the area of commonality for many years with our participation in various deep dives, as well as the development of the Virtual Shelf,” said Ezio Treglia, NSWCPD’s Commonality team lead.

The Virtual Shelf is a searchable database of items; parts and specifications. NSWCPD developed the Virtual Shelf as a resource for shipyards, ship design managers, In-Service Engineering Agents, and other stakeholders to aid in identifying equipment and components that are qualified for cross-platform use. The tool will aid in the effort to increase the use of common components across the fleet and reduce total ownership costs.

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