Treadwell Supplies Oxygen Generator Components for Nuclear Subs
Submarines travel underwater, but they all need oxygen. Diesel-electric submarines need it for their engines, and must surface to get it, though modern AIP (Air Independent Propulsion) systems allow moderate power cruising for weeks at a time without surfacing. Nuclear-powered submarines can cruise at full power for years, of course, as their engines do not need air. Their crews, however, do. Hence Electrolytic Oxygen Generators (EOGs), which break up water molecules and keep the oxygen for use aboard ship.
Treadwell Corp’s Model 6L16 EOG was first introduced in 1965…
EOGs & Upgrades
The 6L16 breaks up distilled water by passing an electric current through an electrolyte solution (i.e. sea water) in 16 high-pressure cells, connected in series. This equipment can produce 150 standard cubic feet per hour of oxygen, and variants remain the primary oxygen producers aboard the USA’s SSN-688 Los Angeles Class fast attack submarines and SSBN-726 Ohio Class ballistic missile submarines. Treadwell also produces Oxygen Generation Plants (OGPs) for the USA’s high-end SSN 21 Seawolf fast attack submarines, which include OGP electrolysis modules that depend on proton exchange membranes to do the work of separation.
The upgrade program is a dual-track effort. A program was launched in 1997 to upgrade existing 6L16 EOGs to a digital control system, as Advanced EOGs (AEOGs). Acquisition of new components is part of a program to continue upgrading EOGs for extended life, lower life cycle costs, and better reliability.
Treadwell’s Low Pressure Electrolyzer models use the proton exchange membrane approach instead of high-pressure cells, and produce 170 or 225 standard cubic feet per hour. Going forward, they will operate as the primary oxygen producers aboard the SSBN-726 Ohio Class ballistic missile submarines, as well as the SSN-21 Seawolf Class fast attack submarines. The new advanced OGPs will provide increased reliability, maintainability, safety and ease of operation.
America’s Virginia Class fast attack submarines use an Integrated Low Pressure Electrolyzer (ILPE) produced by United Technologies subsidiary Hamilton Sundstrand, who is working with Distributed Energy Systems on next-generation electrolysis cell stacks.
Contracts & Key Events
Unless otherwise specified, The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division’s Ship System Engineering Station in Philadelphia, PA issues these contracts.
Aug 4/11: Treadwell Corp. in Thomaston, CT wins a $49.6 million firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to furnish up to 17 low pressure electrolyzers, and associated installation services, training and technical data to replace the Model 6L16 EOG plant aboard the SSBN-726 and SSN-21 submarines. $40,000 will be obligated at this time.
Work will be performed in Thomaston, CT, and is expected to be completed by January 2014. The solicitation was synopsized on the Federal Business Opportunities website and competitively procured, with 1 offer received (N65540-11-D-0014).
Jan 24/08: Treadwell Corp. in Thomaston, CT won a $62 million firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for up to 29 Low Pressure Electrolyzers, plus Low Pressure Electrolyzer Simulators, associated installation services, and training and technical data. The systems will replace the Model 6L16 Electrolytic Oxygen Generator and Oxygen Generating Plant aboard SSBN 726 and SSN 21.
Work will be performed in Thomaston, CT and is expected to be complete by January 2011. This contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with 2 offers received by the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division, Ship Systems Engineering Station in Philadelphia, PA (N65540-08-D-0007).
March 14/07: Treadwell Corporation in Thomaston, CT received a $9.2 million firm-fixed-price contract for furnishing new auxiliary cubicles and microprocessor controllers in the US Navy’s model 6L16 electrolytic oxygen generators (EOG). Work will be performed in Thomaston, CT and is expected to be complete by April 2009. This contract was not competitively procured (N65540-07-C-0001).
March 30/06: Treadwell Corp. in Thomaston, CT received a $12.6 million firm-fixed-price contract for auxiliary cubicles and microprocessor controllers for model 6L16 electrolytic oxygen generators (EOG). Acquisition of the new components is part of the program to upgrade the EOG, resulting in extended life, increasing reliability and reducing life-cycle costs. Work will be performed in Thomaston, CT and is expected to be complete by September 2008. The contract was not competitively procured (N65540-06-C-0014).
Aug 23/05: Treadwell Corp. in Thomaston, CT received a $12.3 million firm-fixed-price contract for Auxiliary Cubicles and Microprocessor Controller components for Model 6L16 Electrolytic Oxygen Generators (EOG). Work will be performed in Thomaston, CT and is expected to be completed by September 2007. The contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Ship System Engineering Station in Philadelphia, PA issued the contract (N65540-05-C-0029).
June 28/04: Treadwell Corp. in Thomaston, CT received a $13.8 million firm-fixed-price contract to provide new auxiliary cubicles and microprocessor controller components for SSN-688/SSBN-726 Class, Model 6L16 Electrolytic Oxygen Generators (EOG). Work will be performed in Thomaston, CT and is expected to be complete by November 2006. The contract was not competitively procured (N65540-04-C-0032).
- Treadwell Corp – Automated Electrolytic Oxygen Generator (AEOG)
- Enginization – Case Study: Treadwell Corporation. Treadwell asked Enginasion for help with a new microprocessor controller and software suite. Results included include full automation of GUI prompts; built-in diagnostics; data & trend analysis and software interlocks; reduced cost; elimination of over 12,000 parts; and less noise.