Cold ironing up and running in major European port
A German port is up and running with the first European onshore power supply via transformers to feed multiple voltages for cruise ships
For the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), Siemens has built a turnkey onshore power supply at the Hamburg Altona cruise terminal to provide grid power to docked ships. Known as cold ironing, or shore-to-ship power (SSP) and alternative maritime power (AMP), the provision of shoreside electrical power to a ship at berth enables its generators to be switched off.
The Hamburg installation is the first European onshore power supply system of its type, that adjusts the frequency of the local distribution grid to any ship’s electrical system. The system has specially developed cable management for cruise ships that provides a fast, easy and flexible connection between the shore and the ship, including for Hamburg a custom-built, mobile robot arm designed specifically to cope with the tidal range of up to nine metres.
The heart of the SIHarbour system are a frequency converter with control software, which adjusts the frequency of the local distribution grid, and a transformer, which modifies the voltage, to match any ship’s electrical system.
The Hamburg installation has a capacity of 12 megavolts (MV) and works with input to 50hz medium voltage switchgear that feeds transformers to step power to perfect values for the individual ship. The project schedule at Hamburg was very tight, with most of the work having to be carried out in winter, especially the underground work on the quay. “We had to do this when no cruise ships were being processed because that would have interfered with the cruise service at the terminal” says Mr. Schmidt.
Siemens also provides enabling equipment for the ship-side acceptance of the grid power. The air-insulated MV switchgear is especially suitable for application on ships due to its compact design, high flexibility, and robustness. Various ship classifications have been granted and installations made on numerous ship types.
The use of grid power to ships is predominantly an environmental concern, which the EU has been proposing for several years with directives and is now in the process of implementing. However there are gains for the ship operators too, with fuel savings from shutting down the diesel generators in the port and reduced maintenance costs. There are also discounts offered in many countries for switching to shore supply power.
By Jake Frith
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