Efficient Shore-to-Ship Power Supply, Control and Monitoring

7 Jul 2022

The global economy may be decelerating, but freight traffic is on the rise. Stronger economic ties and globalization are some of the leading stimulators of the freight transport sector’s growth in recent years. Unfortunately, this suggests an elevated threat to the environment through noise, vibrations, and emissions.

Efficient shore-to-ship power supply, control, and monitoring have the potential to minimize these negative effects. Shore-to-ship power supply control and monitoring play an irreplaceable part in the performance of ships at port.

Ship operators and owners can take advantage of efficient control and monitoring solutions offered by firms like Gsertel, which also increase adherence to the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.

What are shore-to-ship power supply control and monitoring?

In simple terms, shore-to-ship power supply control and monitoring refers to the regular measurement of shore power supply performance intending to make any necessary improvements.

Most ships come with at least some level of performance monitoring and control. The fleet manager can check if the vessel is still in good working condition, after all, and may also analyze fuel efficiency, engine condition, and such aspects of performance.

But there is a need for more monitoring and control solutions because ships would want to enhance their operating margins at any opportunity. Fuel consumption is a major challenge for ship owners, who are always on the lookout for reduction methodologies.

Ships at berth need the power to support amenities such as ventilation, cooling, and lighting. Using modern connection solutions, a vessel can access onshore power and switch off its engines while at berth, eliminating various forms of pollution.

Smaller water vessels have been drawing shore power for ages. The high compatibility of these vessels with the grid requirements means that they can replace the generator power with grid power with little or no investment.

But for larger vessels, efficient control and monitoring of the supply is critical when the shore-side power takes over. Since the power requirements for ships can reach 15 MW, special installations are required on the ship and shore. Intricate high-power connectors and upgraded grid capacity may be necessary.

Thanks to a monitoring and control capability, the user can check how the ship is accessing this power, and monitor to confirm if everything is progressing as expected. Efficient control and monitoring allow the customer to customize a wide range of parameters including phase, voltage, and frequency.

Customization of Power Supply Control and Monitoring

Port-side power supply characteristics need to be customized based on the characteristics of each ship. Knowing that the voltage, frequency, and power demand in ferries, cruise ships, and cargo ships can differ widely, control and monitoring devices need to be synchronized.

An efficient shore power control and monitoring system ensures that voltages and frequencies of the supply and ship sides are always in unison.

If the supply frequency is higher than the rated frequency, the motors in the ship may run faster, leading to overloading, overheating, and eventually, damage. For an induction motor, the frequency is directly proportional to the RPM. So the motor speed will be impacted.

Equally detrimental is an unequal voltage. A higher voltage means excess current. Subsequent acceleration of the motors may lead to load stress. Owing to this, reduced life or even damage to the equipment/motor may occur. Lower voltage may not be as serious, although the slower operation of the motors can cause overheating and stalling.

Having a platform for controlling these elements can bring several benefits to the business.

For instance, efficient control and monitoring reduce downtime.

Time is money.

Whenever the shore-to-ship power supply is down or inefficient, the business loses money. By applying an advanced control and monitoring mechanism, you enhance your prediction capabilities and prevent unnecessary system downtimes that could be costly.

Reliable monitoring and control also provide deep-rooted data that you may use to understand the shore power supply system characteristics. When you receive numerous and regular data points about your vessel’s interaction with the grid, you have the insights to help you optimize efficiency in the future.

Are You Looking for Efficient Monitoring and Control?

Ship owners need advanced solutions for efficient shore power control and monitoring. Such solutions are designed to allow for adherence to environmental and marine laws while berthing and minimizing operation costs for extended stays at the port.

With environmental regulations growing more stringent every day, shore-to-ship power connection is garnering popularity – and we have seen there is a reason for this: shore power connection protects the environment and enhances the energy efficiency of the ship.

Therefore, after 17 years of research, development, and innovation, GSERTEL is proud to be a leader in the provision of power control and monitoring equipment for harbor and marina applications. You can learn more about the solutions that fulfill standards such as EN 61557-9 and EN 61557-8 here.

Maura Outeiral

Tech Sales Manager, Europe and Latin America