Reliable power system with ultra-fast fault response time for DP vessels

Delivering a vessel with Dynamic Positioning (DP) classification can be challenging. And the higher the DP rating, the more difficult it can be.

Luckily, there are experts delivering DP systems that can handle both the complex force calculations for the steering and the failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) for such a complex system.

But a DP system is only as good as the power system it depends upon. All DP systems need a reliable and trustworthy power system able to react to any fault quickly, with no delays.

Fast, reliable power system

The Switch drive is just such a power system. It is

  • Extremely fast, in the event of a fault disconnecting within 10 microseconds before any other applications are affected
  • Predictable

Because our system shuts down a fault so quickly, we can run even DP3 vessels with a closed DC bus tie. Any short circuit between two DC-Hubs is disconnected before any complications develop:

  • No oscillations
  • No black smoke
  • No tripping of other applications

Nice words.
But as we all know, theory and practice are not the same.

Proven results

The Switch has proved its words. In 2019, the vessel North Sea Giant was retrofitted with our DC-Hubs in a ring configuration. This vessel has a hybrid battery system enabling DP 3 operation with one diesel generator running and an open bus AC battery power class notation.

After installation of our DC-Hubs on the vessel, we ran a live short-circuit test between them. Our Electronic Bus Link (EBL) disconnected within 10 microseconds, and no other applications tripped.

This was not a destructive test. The components worked perfectly fine afterward. No aging or derating, nor was any other stress put on them. They just did their job. And the really nice part? No fuses to change, no breakers to overhaul. Just press reset. And you can even try again!

The Switch Electronic Bus Link

The Switch Electronic Bus Link (EBL) connects the vessel’s DC-Hubs and protects against faults between DC-Hubs. The DP3-rated and DNV-approved EBL provides protection outside the DC-Hub by splitting onboard grids in microseconds to isolate any faulty DC-Hub.
  • Ensures complete redundancy
  • Forms a ring network from multiple DC-Hubs
  • Guarantees selectivity between DC-Hubs
  • DP3 tested and approved by DNV

Big fuel savings

The North Sea Giant was not allowed to run with a closed bus on the AC side, but with our solution, it was allowed to run with a closed DC bus solution. This reduced running hours and saved fuel – 2,000 tons of fuel every year since 2019.

Eliminate your power system worries

DP systems can be challenging, but solutions and products from The Switch provide at least one less thing to worry about. The DC-Hub ensures the safety of both vessel and crew and cargo. It reduces the consequences of any fault to an acceptable level – or even in some cases to no consequence at all.

Make the FMEA and your life easier by selecting fast and reliable protection for your DP class vessel’s DC switchboard.

Get in touch with us to learn more.

Senior Manager, Marine Concepts

Asbjørn Halsebakke

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Asbjørn Halsebakke is leading his team in engineering marine drive solutions, frequency converters and rotating machinery, which are in use today with the utmost reliability on vessels throughout the world. Before joining The Switch, Halsebakke worked for Aker Kværner Elektro AS in Norway to develop frequency drives and perform sea trials and commissioning. Halsebakke graduated from Narvik University College with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also attended the University of Bergen, where he studied elementary physics and mathematics.