Journal of Superconductivity

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 349–364 | Cite as

Magnetohydrodynamic ship propulsion with superconducting magnets

  • D. L. Mitchell
  • D. U. Gubser


The feasibility of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) ship propulsion using superconducting magnets is reviewed in light of recent advances in high-temperature superconductivity. The scaling relations for the electrical and hydraulic efficiencies of MHD pump-jets show that overall efficiencies >50% are feasible at speeds of 40 knots and higher provided that magnetic fields >5T can be maintained over volumes of the order of 100 m3. The development of large-scale electrical machinery and magnets using the high-temperature superconductors now under development could make it practical to construct submersibles for high-speed and silent operation. Low-speed tankers for movement of bulk cargo would be efficient with even lower fields.

Key words

magnetohydrodynamics ship propulsion superconducting magnets high-temperature superconductivity 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    O. M. Phillips,J. Ship Res. 43 (1962).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. A. Doragh,Proc. Nav. Arch. Mar. Eng. Trans. 71, 370 (1963).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Y. Saji, M. Kitano, and A. Iwata,Adv. Cryog. Eng. 23, 159 (1978).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    S. Way,J. Hydronaut. 2, 47 (1968).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    A. Iwata, Y. Saji, and S. Sato,Proc. ICEC 8, 775 (1980).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    G. T. Hummert,An Evaluation of Direct Current Electromagnetic Propulsion in Seawater, Office of Naval Research Report ONR-CR168-007-1 (1979).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    V. L. Streeter, ed.,Handbook of Fluid Dynamics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1961), p. 27–10.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Mitchell
    • 1
  • D. U. Gubser
    • 2
  1. 1.Mitchell AssociatesReston
  2. 2.Naval Research LaboratoryWashington DC

Personalised recommendations