The first aircraft carrier in the Ford-Class (CVN-78) is in the final stages of construction and testing. When it joins the U.S. Navy fleet in 2016, its on-board liquid oxygen generating plant, developed by Rix Industries, will incorporate the Qdrive acoustic-stirling liquefier from Chart Industries. According to Chart, the liquefier will decrease ownership cost by reducing operational manpower and minimizing maintenance.

Chart was part of the industry team led by Rix Industries. The U.S. Navy and Huntington Ingalls charged the team to develop a next-generation system to succeed the oversized, energy-intensive distillation columns installed on all current U.S. Navy nuclear powered aircraft carriers.

As well as delivering on the energy savings, the new system produces liquid oxygen 20 minutes from startup instead of almost 24 hours with conventional technology. The on-board liquid oxygen generating plant is impervious to rolls and lists, which means uninterrupted supply. In addition, the size and weight of the plant is approximately 50 percent of its predecessor, helping the Navy attain their overall reduction goals, says Chart.