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Louisiana, that's a very good question.

I would think that most electric motors are already very efficient.

I would also think that for most larger craft the biggest drag on efficiency is simply the resistance to forward motion, probably the biggest factor being the design of the hull. ("I'm Not A Shipwright, But I Play One On TV.")

My thinking would be that the motor's efficiency isn't so important for day-to-day operations as it might be to enable the craft to push a little harder while constrained to a particular ship's design, and also to make full use of all available electric power while submerged. This would probably be more important with diesel submarines than with nuclear subs (power available to a nuke would in all probability be higher than the sub's design requirements). A diesel sub would need to run fully off batteries, so ANY efficiency increase would allow extended missions to the great joy of mission planners, if not to sailors.

Pro:
In the realm of subs that must operate for long periods under their own power (which is exclusively military AFAIK) if the more efficient motor required less cooling or space, this would also be a huge boon, given that the cooling system were proven and unlikely to fail.

Con:
Since ships can always turn to pumped seawater for cooling and a water-cooled system could probably operate for long periods even with significant leakage, i think that the biggest obstacle to acceptance may be the reliability of the cooling system, and the ability of the motor to operate at least partially with a failed cooling system. Otherwise, it is unlikely that the military would be very interested in something which could very well fail and leave a craft (sub or boat) stranded.

So i think that if AMSC can prove its design to be, well, bulletproof, they stand a very good chance of getting huge contracts (assuming GE or Sumitomato doesn't get them).

If not, i don't see it happening at all. At least not for the military.

And from what i have heard, if they can't get it on a military craft, they won't get it on a civilian boat either... which doesn't make sense, but since when did anything have to make sense.


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