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Britain's Royal Navy warships are breaking down because sea is too hot

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Royal Navy ships are losing power because of warm seas - CNN.com

(CNN)Britain's £1bn ($1.4bn) warships are losing power in the Persian Gulf because they cannot cope with the warm waters, MPs have been told.Six Type 45 destroyers have repeatedly experienced power outages because of the temperatures, leaving servicemen in complete darkness.



During the Defence Committee hearing on Tuesday, MPs questioned company executives about the warship failures.
"The equipment is having to operate in far more arduous conditions that were initially required," Rolls-Royce director Tomas Leahy said.
Managing director of BAE Systems Maritime, John Hudson, supported Leahy's comments, adding: "The operating profile at the time was that there would not be repeated or continuous operations in the Gulf."
You have GOT to be kidding me! Is this some kind of joke? If I were Prime Minister I would have someone ass nailed to a ****ing tree within 24 hours. It's treasonous.
 
Royal Navy ships are losing power because of warm seas - CNN.com


You have GOT to be kidding me! Is this some kind of joke? If I were Prime Minister I would have someone ass nailed to a ****ing tree within 24 hours. It's treasonous.

It's a matter of choices. Either you build combat equipment that can operate in all climates or you fund NHS. If you're a politician you make the choice that makes more voters happy....until they have a loved one deployed on a ship that doesn't work.
 
Royal Navy ships are losing power because of warm seas - CNN.com


You have GOT to be kidding me! Is this some kind of joke? If I were Prime Minister I would have someone ass nailed to a ****ing tree within 24 hours. It's treasonous.

Two points here:

1) The government has a responsibility to ensure that the specifications they put into a contract are reasonable and meet the long term requirements.

2) A contractor, IMHO, has an ethical responsibility to bring to the attention of the government, any change of conditions that they recognize and identify, that the contract does not cover. But not legally.

In this instance, I would love to find out if the contract specifications actually stated what Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems Maritime contend. If so, then the onus is on Whitehall and Number 10.

IMHO.
 
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Warmer sea temperatures can reduce the delta-T of steam turbines, but are they steam? or gas turbine?

OK, looked it up, they are gas turbines, so no condensing of steam is involved....
This sounds hinky, has to be more to it than warmer sea temperatures....
 
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Warmer sea temperatures can reduce the delta-T of steam turbines, but are they steam? or gas turbine?

OK, looked it up, they are gas turbines, so no condensing of steam is involved....
This sounds hinky, has to be more to it than warmer sea temperatures....

You froggies do know your boats. I'll give you that.
 
Two points here:

1) The government has a responsibility to ensure that the specifications they put into a contract are reasonable and meet the long term requirements.

2) A contractor, IMHO, has an ethical responsibility to bring to the attention of the government, any change of conditions that they recognize and identify, that the contract does not cover. But not legally.

In this instance, I would love to find out if the contract specifications actually stated what Rolls-Royce and BAE Systems Maritime contend. If so, then the onus is on Whitehall and Number 10.

IMHO.

Sorry, contract requirements don't go to the Number 10 level. That's like making Obama responsible for the specs on a jet. It doesn't happen that way, ever. What I said still stands, the PM would be hauling Admirals into his office.
 
It's a matter of choices. Either you build combat equipment that can operate in all climates or you fund NHS. If you're a politician you make the choice that makes more voters happy....until they have a loved one deployed on a ship that doesn't work.

Someone clearly ****ed up.
 
Royal Navy ships are losing power because of warm seas - CNN.com


You have GOT to be kidding me! Is this some kind of joke? If I were Prime Minister I would have someone ass nailed to a ****ing tree within 24 hours. It's treasonous.

American ships have gone through the same issues in warm waters, so this in nothing new. Conversions to the main and auxiliary condensers will usually do the trick.

The USS Inchon SSTG's would go into high vacuum routinely while deployed.

I basically lived down in the Emergency Diesel Generator rooms while we were deployed because the ship only had 3 enginemen. I put a lot of hours on those old Fairbanks Morse 12 cylinder 8 1/8 diesels.
 
Someone clearly ****ed up.

Pure speculation on my part but this kind of thing is prone to happen when budget constraints meet production timelines. There is almost always a political motivation behind the problem. Parliamentarian (or Senator or Congressman or Despotic Tyrant) "X" wants to make sure the budget isn't blown out of proportion while Parliamentarian "Y" wants to show the public a shiny new ship by such and such a date. The engineering gets rushed and is chock full of work arounds then the shakedown is cut short and the result is a "good enough for government work" product.
 
Royal Navy ships are losing power because of warm seas - CNN.com


You have GOT to be kidding me! Is this some kind of joke? If I were Prime Minister I would have someone ass nailed to a ****ing tree within 24 hours. It's treasonous.
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Six new destroyers are having turbine generator problems in the Persian Gulf- is that outrageous? Someone stubbed up for sure but is it so disastrous? Fix or replace the generators. Presumably the contractor who supplied them is on the hook for them. If not, some bureaucrat made a sweetheart deal on the contract.
 
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Six new destroyers are having turbine generator problems in the Persian Gulf- is that outrageous? Someone stubbed up for sure but is it so disastrous? Fix or replace the generators. Presumably the contractor who supplied them is on the hook for them. If not, some bureaucrat made a sweetheart deal on the contract.

Yes it is outrageous. Do you know what's involved in changing out or repairing those generators?
 
Yes it is outrageous. Do you know what's involved in changing out or repairing those generators?

No, I don't. If it's as big as you say, maybe heads will roll.
 
American ships have gone through the same issues in warm waters, so this in nothing new. Conversions to the main and auxiliary condensers will usually do the trick.

The USS Inchon SSTG's would go into high vacuum routinely while deployed.

I basically lived down in the Emergency Diesel Generator rooms while we were deployed because the ship only had 3 enginemen. I put a lot of hours on those old Fairbanks Morse 12 cylinder 8 1/8 diesels.

My wife was on the last voyage of the JFK and she said the boiler room was right under the women's birthing so they had the door to it open all the time and the metal for their racks would heat up almost too much to touch.
 
The local paper to their home port doesn't have much more info.

" ...The engine woes first became apparent when HMS Daring lost all power in the mid-Atlantic in 2010 and had to repaired in Canada.

The vessel needed fixing again in Bahrain in 2012 after another failure.

Rolls-Royce told the Commons Defence Committee the engines installed in the destroyers had been built as specified – but that the conditions in the Middle East were not ‘in line with these specs’.

Committee member Doug Chapman said: ‘I am stunned. A £1bn asset in a warzone and we don’t know if people will come out alive because of a power system fault.’


The MoD revealed this year it would be running a staggered refit of the six destroyers from 2019.

The MoD added the ships remained one of the most capable warships on the planet."

WTF ???



Read more: Royal Navy’s destroyers breaking down in the Gulf – because the sea is too hot - Portsmouth News
 
Sorry, contract requirements don't go to the Number 10 level. That's like making Obama responsible for the specs on a jet. It doesn't happen that way, ever. What I said still stands, the PM would be hauling Admirals into his office.

I was referring to the overall budget and what instructions given by Whitehall or Number 10 that may have led to any potential specs reduction. If Number 10, or Obama for that matter, tells department heads that they have to "reduce the cost of that ship or we'll scarp it" for instance, then the people in charge of the ship building have three alternatives - 1) reduce the amount of money you actually approve to pay out on each invoice creating an arbitrary and capricious reduction of costs on the backs of the contractors, meaning that the government just got a very strong lawsuit thrown on them, or 2) reduce the amount of money the ship costs through changes to specs resulting in overall cost reductions, or 3) scrap the ship and the contract all together.

I've seen both 1 and 2 implemented with equally catastrophic results for the government, and number 3 is very bad for the tax payer with no ROI for monies spent to date.
 
Yes it is outrageous. Do you know what's involved in changing out or repairing those generators?

Fine, but how does one get so many boats made and accepted by the Navy before figuring that there is a design problem???!!!

"We did not expect to ever send them into warm water" is a lie, clearly.

What we have here is a failure of government.
 
Fine, but how does one get so many boats made and accepted by the Navy before figuring that their is a design problem???!!!

That is a failure of government.

The Navy is part of the government. :roll:
 
It runs both ways.

The Type 23 frigates were designed for an 18 year service life predicted on operations almost exclusively in the rough seas of the North Atlantic and North Sea. Because they actually spend more of their time in the calmer waters of the Med and Persian Gulf they are exceeding that 18 year designed service life by a good margin.

But that sort of thing doesn't make for good headlines.

Its easy to armchair quarterback the thing and say all ships should be designed to work equally well anywhere in the world all the time, but that's complete rubbish. The requirements for prolonged operations in say the Persian Gulf are dramatically different than prolonged operations in northern waters and often not compatible. Indeed, if one were selecting propulsion or generating plants optimized specifically for one or the other they would be quite different. Gas turbines for example can suffer dramatic power loss in hot regions and there are the problems with sand ingestion. No wonder when Saudi Arabia spec'd out the Medina class frigates back in the 80's the opted for diesels rather than gas turbines.

A few years ago the UK sold HMS Largs Bay, a landing ship to the Australian Navy. When they handed it over they told the Australians the ship had been built to civilian standards and specifically not to do prolonged high-speed runs. So what does her new Australian captain do almost off the bat? A sustained high-speed run - which burned out her engines and put her in dock for 13 months.

Machines can have a hard time doing things they were never designed to do.
 
Again....I will say that it is a design flaw. Not a budgetary or political problem.

Condensers, heat exchangers, and piping configuration all work together in some pretty cramped up configurations on ships.
 
Fine, but how does one get so many boats made and accepted by the Navy before figuring that there is a design problem???!!!

"We did not expect to ever send them into warm water" is a lie, clearly.

What we have here is a failure of government.

Is six 'so many'? Maybe the last was built before the problem showed up in the first.
Are destroyers 'boats'?
 
Warmer sea temperatures can reduce the delta-T of steam turbines, but are they steam? or gas turbine?

OK, looked it up, they are gas turbines, so no condensing of steam is involved....
This sounds hinky, has to be more to it than warmer sea temperatures....

Are they gas electric turbines or just turboshafts?
 
Warmer sea temperatures can reduce the delta-T of steam turbines, but are they steam? or gas turbine?

OK, looked it up, they are gas turbines, so no condensing of steam is involved....
This sounds hinky, has to be more to it than warmer sea temperatures....

Found it. They integrated propulsion basically they use the gas turbines for maximum electrical power on speed runs and the diesel generators the rest of the time. I suspect its probably a coolant loop for the generator doesn't have enough capacity to eject heat at the temperature they are running with a given electrical load, or the electrical load for running the chillers and all of the electrics is right at the limit of the diesel generators which are rated at 2mw apiece at the temperatures of the Gulf. Its most likely one of those two. May have to uprate the diesel generators to run down in the gulf. I don't know if their generators are liquid cooled, if not they could try that as a simple way to run them at over rated capacity till they proper sized ones in.
 
Warmer sea temperatures can reduce the delta-T of steam turbines, but are they steam? or gas turbine?

OK, looked it up, they are gas turbines, so no condensing of steam is involved....
This sounds hinky, has to be more to it than warmer sea temperatures....

Found what the problem was, it was the intercooler made by Northrup Grumman that was not able to cope with the higher temperature range of the gulf. Makes sense because of the reduced Delta T like you said. The gas turbines are Rolls Royce WR21's the have exhaust heat recovery and intercooled compressor stages. That would make them more sensitive to higher temperatures. On American gas turbine powered ships they normally run on the diesel generator in low power states then activate the gas turbine or speed runs.
 
Found what the problem was, it was the intercooler made by Northrup Grumman that was not able to cope with the higher temperature range of the gulf. Makes sense because of the reduced Delta T like you said. The gas turbines are Rolls Royce WR21's the have exhaust heat recovery and intercooled compressor stages. That would make them more sensitive to higher temperatures. On American gas turbine powered ships they normally run on the diesel generator in low power states then activate the gas turbine or speed runs.

Did it not meet specs? Were the specs wrong? How big a fix is this(time/money)?
 
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