Reliable energy distribution on ships and offshore platforms

Prof. Günter Ackermann from the Institute for Electrical Energy Systems and Automation at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg was one of the top speakers at the 3rd Rittal “Ship and Sea” Industry Day in Hamburg.

2012-05-29. At the third Rittal “Ship and Sea” Industry Day on 10 May 2012 in Hamburg, experts gave information about reliable energy distribution in maritime applications. Among the speakers were well-known representatives from the Association of German Machine-Building Enterprises, the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, Phoenix Testlab, Besecke, Eplan and Rittal. Among the participants in the special event on the “Cape San Diego” museum ship were developers, representatives from shipyards and shipbuilding suppliers responsible for projects and purchasing.

Energy distribution in maritime applications is undergoing a significant change. In particular, the growing complexity of ships and platforms for new offshore wind farms is creating new technological challenges. Reliability is the main focus here: the energy distribution of ships and offshore platforms has to be ensured at all times.

Around 50 participants from the maritime industry used the 3rd Rittal “Ship & Sea” Industry Day on 10 May 2012 to learn more about the latest developments and trends. Hauke Schlegel from the Association of German Machine-Building Enterprises, covering the shipbuilding and offshore supplier industry, reported on the current status and perspectives of the navigation and shipbuilding markets. Although the focus of shipbuilding has shifted to the Far East, Germany and other countries from central Europe lead the ranking list of supplier countries, explained the shipbuilding expert. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Günter Ackermann from the the Institute for Electrical Energy Systems and Automation a the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg spelled out how electrical machine capacities have clearly increased since 1995 in the case of passenger ships. The “Celebrity Solstice,” for example, has over 62.7 megawatts of machine capacity. The need for low and medium voltage systems in ships is constantly increasing and in the process a trend is appearing toward decentralised energy supplies and land connections during the time ships are in port.

Dietmar Frei from Phoenix Testlab gave a comprehensive overview of the requirements classification societies have for energy distribution. He explained EMC and environmental checks for a class authorization and significant changes to the IACS (International Association of Classification Societies) E10. Henry Fischer from Besecke illustrated what the latest energy surveys and evaluations on mega-yachts and cruise ships look like.

Thomas Kreter, system consultant from Rittal, gave an interesting insight into current strategies for energy transmission in the offshore area, using the example of the “HelWin2” project, a grid connection for the planned Amrumbank West offshore wind farm in the North Sea. Ri4Power systems from Rittal are used there for the energy supply of the high-voltage direct current transmission platforms. Jan Fleming from Eplan and Claus Trapp from Rittal spelled out the advantages for system and control engineers through the use of efficient software and planning tools. Michael Schell, Director of Product Management, Power Distribution at Rittal, explained what the new IEC 61439-1/-2 regulation for low-voltage switchgear requires of switchgear manufacturers. In a concluding discussion that was led by Wilfried Braun from Rittal, the speakers addressed detailed questions from the participants at the special event.