The main difference between the marine and a land-based electrical power system is the fact that the marine power system is an isolated system with short distances from the generated power to the consumers, in contrast to what is normal in land-based systems where there can be hundreds of kilometers between the power generation and the load, with long transmission lines and several voltage transformations between them.
Major Features of the Ship’s Electrical System
The amount of installed power in vessels may be high and this gives special challenges for the engineering of such systems.
High short circuit levels and forces must be dealt with in a safe manner.
The control system in a land-based electrical power system is divided in several separated sub-systems,
while in a vessel; there are possibilities for much tighter integration and coordination.
Design power and propulsion on ship system
The design of power, propulsion and control systems for a vessel have undergone significant changes and advances over a relatively recent period of time. Because of the rapidly expanding capabilities of computers, microprocessors and communications networks, the integration of systems which were traditionally separate, stand alone systems is now not only feasible, but fast becoming industry standards.
The increasing demand for redundant propulsion and DP class 2 and class 3 vessels, requires system redundancy with physical separation.
The interconnections of the diverse systems on a vessel have become increasingly complex, making the design, engineering and building of a vessel a more integrated effort.
Schematics of the main power installations in a vessel with electric propulsion in a Single Line Diagram (SLD).
Single Line Diagram power installation and main components on ship
Electric Power Generation
Electric Power Distribution
Variable Speed Drives
Propulsion / Thruster units
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