The drive to produce lighter, faster vessels has been increasing the market interest in marine gas turbine propulsion systems. Classification Rules for propulsion systems in vessels require certification. Classification Rules cover many aspects of design philosophies. For new, high speed and light craft designs, gas turbine power is being optimized to economically blend higher vessel speeds, lower operating costs, and improved payloads. As part of this process, a concurrent design effort involving class societies is highly recommended to speed certification and increase the project’s experience pool.

Classification Societies, as independent third parties, issue standards (rules) for safe design, construction, and operation of ships. Certification is used to document compliance with the standards or rules. The certification process is usually based on design reviews and witnessing of manufacturing and testing.

Recently, a project at Solar Turbines Incorporated required a pair of 5 MW marine gas turbines propulsion units to be certified by Det Norske Veritas Classification AS. The gas turbines drive waterjets for a 45 meter, 332 passenger, 47 knot vessel designed and manufactured by FBM Marine Limited in the United Kingdom.

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