China has claimed to have made a breakthrough with medium voltage integrated DC power.
US Navy presentations indicate that medium voltage DC power distribution is the key to making affordable power for railguns and electromagnetic launchers.
China has not built a ship with integrated electrical propulsion system (IEPS). The US spent nearly $8 billion for each of three Zumwalt destroyers. The Zumwalt has complex integrated ppower using a high-voltage power distribution architecture.
China is planning to develop IEPS using a simpler medium-voltage DC architecture. This would have a single-voltage distribution bus. It would eliminate the need for complex power supply harmonic conditioning and filtering.
Medium voltage (about 12000 volt) DC power distribution that is reliable and affordable is the key to having the power for futuristic technology like railguns and electromagnetic launchers. It would enable the full power of the ship’s engines to be used instead of separate smaller electrical generators.
China is believed to be placing medium voltage power distribution into new frigates and destroyers. We will see over the next few years if such ships are deployed and if they use that power for multi-megawatt railguns.
SOURCES – The Road to MVDC (Dr. Norbert Doerry, Dr. John Amy 2015), Defense Blog
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com