Compressor with Calnetix Technologies’ Drive System Passes US Navy Testing

Calnetix Technologies has passed the first of stringent shock and vibration test requirements for its motor and magnetic bearing technology, which are an integral part of a new generation of shipboard chillers for the US Navy.

Shock and vibration testing of the variable speed, two-stage, direct drive compressor was completed as part of the chiller prototype development program led by YORK Navy Systems, a Johnson Controls Company.

“The testing is the first step in proving our capabilities in meeting the Navy’s aggressive performance, reliability and environmental goals,” said Vatche Artinian, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Calnetix Technologies. “This project advances and highlights our expertise with the demanding requirements of a naval combatant to meet severe vibration of all-weather operation and weapons affect shock.”

The compressor was tested for its ability to meet Navy MIL-STD-167 vibration and MIL-S-901D shock testing requirements. The compressor was placed on a shaker platform driven at sinusoidal frequencies from 4 to 33 Hz at up to 1.5 Gs. The excitation was applied in the radial direction and axial direction both separately and simultaneously. The measured rotor motion correlated well with Calnetix computational models at all tested frequencies, amplitudes and orientations. Additionally, the Calnetix patented magnetic bearing design proved successful in securing the rotor while deleviated, allowing the US Navy at-sea options.

For shock testing, the machine was exposed to a graduated series of shock loads ending with a pulse exceeding 50 Gs. Post-test magnetic bearing system operation was normal as expected. The auxiliary bearings, specially designed to carry the shock load, met all expectations.

All testing to-date verifies that Calnetix will be an integral part of the US Navy meeting its aggressive goals to reduce ship acquisition and life cycle costs by increasing cooling capacity by at least 50 percent, reducing chiller fuel consumption by greater than 25 percent, improving reliability by more than 50 percent, all while meeting the environmental objectives of reducing refrigerant leakage by 90 percent and eliminating hazardous oily waste.

According to YORK Navy Systems, the construction of production chiller units is expected to commence in 2014 with the first ship installation in 2016. The first production chiller will undergo MIL-STD-167 vibration and MIL-S-901 heavy weight shock testing in 2015.