The function of a ship’s electrical distribution system is to safely convey the generated electrical power to every item of consumer equipment connected to it.
Probably the most obvious element in the system is the main distribution centre, i.e. the ship’s main switchboard.
The main board supplies bulk power to motor group starter boards (often part of the main board), section boards and distribution boards.
Protection on ship electrical system (Ship Power Distribution System), e.g. circuit-breakers and fuses, strategically placed throughout the system automatically disconnects a faulty circuit within the network.
Transformers on ship interconnect the high voltage and low voltage distribution sections of the system.
The operational state of a Ship Power Distribution System is indicated by the monitors for power, voltage, current and by protection relays for overcurrents and earth-faults at each main control centre.
The vast majority of ships have an alternating current (a.c.) distribution system in preference to a direct current (d.c.) system.
The required electrical services are broadly considered as main and emergency ship’s supplies.