How Does Power Quality Management Work in an Electric Ship?

4 Apr 2023

One may wonder: Why is power quality management in electric ship so important? The simple answer is that an electric ship, like many modern electrical equipment, is complex. Therefore, power quality in an electric ship is also intricate.

Electric power quality relates to how the power supply complies with frequency, voltage and the popular sinusoidal waveform standards. There must be a way of having a firm grip on the power quality in the vessel.

So, in case you are worried about what power quality is, we will review this term and explain how power quality management works in an electric ship.   

 Power Quality and the Electric Ship

There are many reasons why an electric ship needs proper power quality management. One of them is that every electrical equipment on the ship has a specific voltage level.

In case of poor quality, power lapses outside the allowable voltage range may occur. This subjects the equipment to serious risk of malfunction and failure. Some of these may require expensive repairs or even replacements. Such activities can also take a lot of time and affect business performance and profitability.

This is not to say there is no electric ship out there that is devoid of power quality challenges. The question is what can you do to manage these challenges for the sake of safety and, by extension, maximize the success rate of your company. 


Steps for Power Quality Management in Electric Ship

Conventionally, power quality in ships has been managed through harmonic correction, power factor correction, Transient Voltage Surge Suppression (TVSS), and mechanical load shifting.

However, newer power quality management techniques have emerged over time.  For instance, ships can now use software-based interventions to synchronize power in real-time.

An electric ship requires modern power quality management. The ship is different from the conventional ship in that it comes with a shaft motor in place of a generator set.

Managing electrical power quality not only starts at the design and building stage of the electric ship, but it is also a daily routine of the crew as they utilize the vessel. Power management requires experience and knowledge from those handling the vessel.

According to ISO 50001 directives, power quality measurement, analysis and improvement should be an on-going process if we aim to achieve the desired results.

First, the electric ship has to be subjected to a robust measurement & monitoring system. There is a popular saying that you cannot manage what you have not measured. This adage applies to power quality management in an electric ship.

Several variables come into focus including voltage swells, load interaction, wiring, and harmonics. Alongside the variables, the measurement should also take into account the relevance of continuous and temporal measurements.

Consider the following requirements for the monitoring system:

  • Strategically located power-quality equipment
  • Capable of measuring current and voltage
  • Measures continuous disturbance
  • Evaluates power quality compliance
Before they set out to sea, marine engineers typically agree on a power quality management plan that outlines the number of motors and related components, maintenance to be done, and other aspects. They also discuss what to do in case of an unexpected failure of any component that may affect the quality of power. It is essential to have a power quality management plan in every voyage to minimize delays, accidents, and other challenges


What Management Solution are You Using? 

Considering the rise in the number of electric ships, it is easy to appreciate the growing importance of power quality management in electric ship. Various PMS solutions are now available, but it pays to be clear about the kind of solution suitable for your electric ship.

In light of risks such as overheating and voltage collapse, it is fundamental that whichever tool you select for power quality management, you always remain in control of the planning, maintenance, and operation of the electric marine vessel.

In that regard, there are important benefits and features to look for in a power quality management solution for an electric ship.

  • Online simulation
  • Intelligent system monitoring
  • Remote control
  • Intelligent load shedding 

The Best Power Quality Management Partner

Only a purpose-designed electric power quality management solution can make sense of all the data coming out of the electrical components in the ship. It has the requisite analytic tools needed for reliable power quality management.

GSERTEL offers comprehensive power quality management competence and solutions that ensure the digitization and security of your electric ship’s infrastructure. The connectivity power of our solutions is what you need to not only identify electrical risks but also enhance electrical safety and reliability sustainably to ensure your electric ship adheres to power quality standards such as the IEEE 519.  

For more details about GSERTEL solutions for power quality management in electric ships, check out their products page and follow Televes Corporation blog to keep tuned for new updates.