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Electrical Engineering

Hepburn and Sons’ Technology Transition Division develops and shepherds emerging electrical technologies in power distribution, power system monitoring, and power electronics to meet the warfighter’s needs. Our experts in electrical engineering lead development of technologies to verify the best for transition into the maritime shipbuilding industry, Navy Shipbuilding, and DoD applications. Strategic partnerships with industrial and academic leaders whether it be small or large businesses, universities or manufacturers, provides maturation of these technologies to revolutionize U.S. warfighting capability for the 21st century.

Patrick Lewis, Ph.D., PMP

Director of Technology Transition



  • Project Portfolio Management

  • Technology Transition Campaign Planning

  • Technology Development Programs Execution

  • Technology Scouting & Forecasting

  • Innovation Planning

  • Technical Analysis

Insulated Bus Pipe for Navy Applications
Partner: Staubli Electrical Connectors

  • Insulated Bus Pipe systems represent an innovative solution for high power shipboard applications at low and medium voltage for AC or DC power distribution. When compared to traditional cable, IBP has greater than 20% cost savings during construction with mitigation of laborious cable pulling. The design supports modular ship construction, saving on installation cost and critical path schedule impacts. For high power applications, IBP has space, weight, and power (SWAP) savings for increased design margin. The insulation is designed to meet all U.S. Navy specifications with high fire and abrasion resistance. Segmented, modular design boasts boltless connections for mitigated maintenance and decreases repair time by allowing for replacement of damaged or degraded sections as opposed to entire cable runs. One design of IBP is Coaxial Insulated Bus Pipe (CIBP), which enables the transfer of energy to high-power loads with the benefit of featuring a low magnetic signature. The innovative design limits the magnetic field generated so that the ship’s magnetic field is not distorted.

IBP Test CAD graphic.jpg

Power System Monitoring
Medium Voltage Insulation Health Monitoring

Partner: Florida State University Center for Advanced Power Systems (FSU CAPS)

  • Medium voltage (AC or DC) insulation health monitoring systems use innovative technology to estimate the health condition and residual life expectancy of medium voltage insulation. Through partial discharge monitoring and space charge measurement, the permanently installed system is capable of pinpointing degraded cable or insulated bus pipe and mitigating failure risk. These phenomenon’s pattern signals are recognized through automatic and unsupervised algorithms. Ensuring the service life of medium voltage (AC or DC) insulation is critical to support future high power demands, pulsed sensors, weapons and combat systems.

IHM Rough Diagram.png

Power System Monitoring
Ground Fault Detection and Localization
Partner: FSU CAPS

  • The ground fault detection and localization for both AC and DC power system application using automatic passive noise pattern analysis. The design allows for the quick detection and localization, enabling isolation of an initial single ground fault and mitigating the risk of double faults and the loss of power to mission critical equipment. This method also mitigates manual disconnect hunting of fault localization by time consuming trial and error. The system has a wide application base for power distribution systems including Medium Voltage (AC or DC) and Low Voltage (AC or DC) for ungrounded or high resistance grounded systems.

GFD Line to Ground Voltage Phase A.png

Power Electronics

Modular Transformer Rectifier

Partner: ​NC State University

  • Hatchable, solid state transformer rectification achieves modularized power capacity in a line replaceable unit (LRU) architecture featuring fully parallel MVAC inputs and DC output. The hatchable transformer rectifier provides an active front end power conversion solution for shipboard applications requiring high voltage disparity. Galvanic isolation is inherent for stability and power quality when feeding dynamic loads. A co-optimized system design approach incorporates advanced magnetic materials and wide bad gap (WBG) power electronic devices for significant power density benefit. The system distribution interconnection readily supports energy storage integration, integrated warfare systems, and pulsed DC mission loads. Designed to fit through a standard Navy hatch, the modular system design offers improved maintainability, reducing repair time and cost by mitigating the need for costly hull access cuts.

HTR Hatch.png

Power Electronics
Medium Voltage DC Disconnect Switch
Partner: ​​
, Georgia Tech Research Corporation

  • Shipboard power system protection requires technology development for breaking DC current on medium voltage scale distribution. LVDC circuit breaker technology exists, but at the medium voltage level there is a clear need. An inline, medium voltage DC disconnect switch or associated switchgear is being developed, aiming to operate with continuous current ratings up to 4000A in order to support high power loads. A disconnect capable of interrupting a level of residual current greatly enhance the survivability and reliability of future DC shipboard power systems. Reliability, modularity, power density, and shipboard system integration are all design priorities.

Disconnect Switch Bulkhead-Mounted Disconnect Switch.png

Technical Papers

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