Successful FAT for The Switch EBL

Within six-month order window

Finland, May 17, 2018 – The Switch Norway, part of Yaskawa Corporation’s Yaskawa Environmental Energy Division, is celebrating the successful completion of a Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) for its Electronic Bus Link (EBL) breaker. It is the first time the new EBL, a key element within its game-changing DC-Hub, has undergone a FAT.

The procedure was conducted in Trondheim under the supervision of class society DNV-GL and the undisclosed end customers. There were no issues recorded with the first three EBL units to undergo stringent testing, with a further three to undertake the same process prior to delivery on an advanced offshore vessel.

“We only received the original order in September last year, so it’s been a tight turnaround,” comments Asbjørn Halsebakke, General Manager, The Switch Norway. “However, our dedicated development team in Trondheim worked in close cooperation with The Switch’s sourcing department in Finland, and assembly and engineering in Stord, to pull out all the stops and deliver a product that is tailored to the specific vessel’s needs. It’s been a real team effort and we, and more importantly the customer, are delighted with the end product.

“The next step will see full load testing onboard the vessel with the EBL working to enable our simple, reliable, robust and very cost-effective DC-Hub solution. We see this as the future of sustainable maritime operations, so it’s very satisfying to observe the products making headway in the market.”

The DC-Hub optimizes operational performance and environmental standards by allowing vessel generators to run at optimal efficiency, with batteries taking the strain of any necessary load changes, thus significantly reducing fuel consumption. The batteries can also be used as stand-by power sources, lowering maintenance costs and energy consumption, while any potential power source – such as generators, fuel cells or solar panels – can be easily connected to the DC grid. This effectively future-proofs vessels.

“The EBL is a crucial part of the DC-Hub. It is paramount the EBL performs to the highest standards of quality, efficiency and reliability,” concludes Halsebakke. “It works to connect the vessel’s DC-Hubs and diesel engines, and ensures efficient ongoing operations, even if a critical fault occurs. We believe it marks a step forward for an industry that is increasing its focus on utilizing and producing environmental energy in the most sustainable manner.”

The testing news follows Yaskawa Corporation’s recent decision to make a multimillion-euro investment in strengthening The Switch’s R&D capabilities. The move will enable the firm to undertake drive train testing of up to 15 MW, a major development in relation to executing the most demanding marine orders.

The Switch produces a portfolio of technology enabling shipowners and operators to both consume less energy and produce efficient energy in a sustainable manner. During the past 10 years, the firm has delivered over 1,000 Power Drives to hundreds of vessels, alongside 35 permanent magnet shaft generators to next-generation ships that are future-proofing operations.

The Switch’s advanced and proven DC-Hub concept, with the unique EBL, is expected to see tremendous growth. The DC-Hub is a much more efficient way to distribute energy, eliminating the need for auxiliary equipment such as transformers and AC switchboards, saving space and money.