At the end of last year, the builders started HMS Prince of Wales forward Gas Turbine Alternator for the first time, three years after it was first installed on the ship.
After months of preparation during static trials ensuring control and auxiliary systems were inspected and tested by a team of ACA engineers, made up of Royal Navy, Rolls Royce, General Electric and Babcock Commissioning, the turbine was signed off as ready to commence dynamic trial phase.
People I spoke to at Rosyth on my last visit told me that building HMS Prince of Wales has been “20% to 25%” faster than building its sister ship HMS Queen Elizabeth. When on HMS Queen Elizabeth two years ago, we were told that the build of HMS Prince of Wales was expected to be around 8 months quicker thanks to “lessons learned” in the build process.
The builders are already applying lessons from including improvements to the process of preparing its heat-resistant flight deck and installing an improved F-35 landing light systems earlier in the build process.
Recently, the Aircraft Carrier Alliance has successfully handed over the HMS Prince of Wales Navigation Bridge to the Royal Navy, a milestone originally planned for March 2019.
According to a release:
“Having been manufactured around 10 years ago, it was a big moment to start the engine for the first time! This was done in a controlled and methodical way and the team are now progressing through setting to work procedures to demonstrate that the GTA is performing as designed and ready to support the next phase of basin trials.
This is one of two engines that are fitted on board and can produce 36 Megawatts (around 50,000 horsepower) of power on to the High Voltage distribution system, this is enough to power an average of 36,000 homes or 450,000 eighty watt light bulbs. Based on the Rolls Royce Trent 800, which were used for the Boeing 777, the MT30 is the world’s most power-dense Marine Gas Turbine, a key feature for Naval Ships where high power occupying minimum space is essential.”
CPOET(ME)(ML) Horsepool said:
“This is one of the proudest moments of my career. It has been an enjoyable experience to be part of the team that has successfully achieved the first run of a GT on board after months of work.”
Simon Lister, ACA Managing Director, said:
“The first start of the Gas Turbine along with the recent Diesel Generator first starts is a major step forward towards sea trials later this year. It is fantastic to see the ship coming to life on her own systems and I thank the teams for their continued hard work.”