June 4, 2009
Antwerp gets plug in power system
An Onshore Power Supply (OPS) facility has been formally inaugurated at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium. It allows suitably equipped ships to plug in to shoreside electric power,
The Antwerp OPS--or cold-ironing, or alternative maritime power (AMP)--system is the first with automatic synchronization and 50/60 Hz conversion. It typically powers a docked container vessel for approximately three days within any one week, allowing the ship's auxiliary diesel generators to be disconnected, significantly reducing attendant noise and NOx, SOx and CO2 emissions. It also helps ship meet an EC Directive that, from next January, will set a 0.1% maximum sulfur requirement for fuels used by ships berthing in EU ports is also met ahead of its mandatory implementation from the beginning of next January.
Developed by Hamburg-based SAM Electronics, an L-3 Communications company, the OPS basically ensures uninterrupted generation of high voltage (800 kVA) electrical power to berthed vessels in association with a local grid. Network equipment typically comprises a series of power and control modules and cabling, with a frequency converter allowing vessels to connect to shoreside electricity regardless of whether they are dependent upon 50 or 60 Hz electrical systems.
As part of installation work for the €1.1 million Antwerp project, SAM has also equipped new Independent Container Lines' vessels with complementary 60 Hz onboard networks supplemented by standard OPS components such as a 6,600-volt/450-volt transformer, a 6,600-volt medium-voltage supply station, and a cable drum,
SAM is currently developing larger OPS systems for port use based on advanced pulse width modulation (PWM) technology