Hybrid electric drive for small craft

Period of Performance: 06/27/2003 - 12/27/2003


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

UQM Technologies, Inc.
7501 Miller Drive, PO Box 439
Frederick, CO 80530
Principal Investigator


Hybrid electric drive has evolved into an attractive propulsion architecture for many different military applications. It provides these vehicles with improved fuel economy, reduced signatures (audible, thermal and electromagnetic), increases on-board electrical power, and enables design flexibility that is not possible with diesel engine-driven vehicles. UQM has demonstrated these advantages within military vehicles (e.g., Army HMMWV, Air Force ground support, and Unmanned Ground Vehicles) and within commercial vehicles (GM Precept, UPS delivery trucks, John Deere tractors). This diverse hybrid electric vehicle experience provides the knowledge and expertise required to transfer the technology into the 7-meter RHIB Naval platform. UQM proposes to develop a conceptual design during the Phase I program that consists of an off-the-shelf engine mounted to an existing generator, an existing dual propulsion motor, a high voltage battery pack (exceeding 320 VDC), battery management, and power management system. This configuration will enable reduced fuel consumption, reduced signatures, increased electrical power without the need for a separate generator set, and design flexibility due to the small size, light weight, and forward/reverse capability of the electric propulsion system. Hybrid electric drive is an advantageous architecture for the majority of military and commercial boat applications. By focusing this effort on existing technologies and products, the production cost of the system can be minimized to attract commercial attention. For this reason, and because UQM understands procurement cost issues, all tradeoffs performed during the development program will consider cost as the first figure of merit. UQM has established relationships with watercraft and marine engine companies.