Medium Voltage Direct Current (MVDC) Grounding System

Period of Performance: 06/08/2016 - 12/05/2016


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Hepburn and Sons LLC
9200 Church Street Array
Manassas, VA 20110
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Florida State University
874 Traditions Way, 3rd Floor
Tallahassee, FL 32306


Hepburn and Sons LLC teamed with Florida State University (FSU) Center for Advanced Power Systems (CAPS) propose to develop an affordable, general method for grounding Medium Voltage Direct Current (MVDC) zonal electrical power systems for naval warships. The grounding system concept developed in Phase I will evaluate the incorporation of electric weapons and high power sensors while accounting for multiple sources of MVDC power on the bus of surface ships and submarines. The MVDC grounding concept developed will utilize the FSU test bed, a 5 MW, 6kV MVDC system with 4 individual power converters that will be operated in various grounding configurations to assess the integration of modern weapon systems such as rail gun and a solid state laser. Modeling and simulation will be used to demonstrate the feasibility and affordability of the developed MVDC grounding concept including a technical evaluation of commercializing the US Patent 8067942 B2, Method for locating phase to ground faults in DC distribution systems. The concept will include the ability to continue operation with one line to ground fault, detect and locate line to ground faults, minimize currents in the ships hull, and avoid high line to ground voltages.