The U.S. Navy’s Self Defense Test Ship has successfully arrived at its port, powered by an alternative fuel blend. Docking at Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme, it completed a 17 hour test voyage which ended at 10:37 a.m. this morning. The decommissioned Spruance-class Paul F. Foster destroyer was converted to run on 50% algae-derived fuel.
The successful run used around 20,000 gallons of a 50/50 blend of hydro-processed algae oil and standard petroleum F-76, supplied by the Navy’s Defense Fuel Supply Point at Point Loma. During the demonstration, the ship’s propulsion power was derived 100% from the biofuel blend, with 50% of the service power from it. The biofuel blend ran cleanly and effectively in the ship’s pre-existing LM 2500 propulsion gas turbines, with no adjustments to the engines required.
Previous to this test, the LM 2500 had not been tested with biofuels, making this demonstation a huge step in greenly-run military vessels. This massive ship also marks the largest demonstration of biofuels to date, and its success is a step towards having a green fleet in the military in the future. With the U.S Military’s massive fleet, converting to biofuels or biofuel blends could have a tremendous impact on our dependence on foreign oil, as well as influencing other industries to utilize renewable energy and biofuels.