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Marine Port Electric Power Distribution for Cold-Ironing
Rotary Frequency Selection

> Shore-Port-to-Ship Power Converters


Photo courtesy of ESL Power Systems, Inc

There are several challenges that ports have to look at before they can provide cold-ironing capabilities from the shore to the ship. One of the greatest challenges is the port's electrical power distribution. Every vesselís electrical power and voltage requirements vary between vessel types and the country that manufactured them.  These various voltage requirements present a problem when designing a shore-power installation at a port.  The most economical way is to use a shore-port-to-ship power converter. For example, a converter is used at a Chinese shipping terminal at the Port of Los Angeles to reduce the 6.6 kV of power supplied to the wharf to the 440 V required for the ships. The biggest challenge is deciding where to place the converters, on the wharf or on the ship.

A converter can only be added to a wharf or ship if enough space is available. Future ship designs should include extra space for the utilization of power converters. It would cost less to have just one converter or transformer on the wharf for all ships to use. By having a converter on the wharf, it would eliminate the need for each ship to have one.  However, a space will still be needed on each ship for the converter when they dock. Also, if left on the wharf, extra space is needed for containers or other cargo that are stored on the wharf while being loaded or unloaded from the ship.

At this point in time, most shipping companies are deciding to use newly converted ships or to retrofit existing ships when considering future shore-power installations. The NYK Atlas Container Ship, the new S-10 Class Evergreen Container Ships, the new Alaska-Class Tanker, and the Diamond and Sapphire Princess passenger ships were all built with the equipment to connect to shore-port-to-ship power. The four original Princess Cruise Line Ships that cold-iron in Juneau and Alaska were retrofitted with shore-power capabilities while en route to Alaska. Some ships are able to retrofit their ships while in service; however, some ships may have to be dry-docked to complete this process.

Hooking up to Shore-Power

Cables used for cold-ironing must be stored when ships are not connected to shore power. As with the converter, enough space on a dock for this equipment is an issue. Also, the number of cables used to deliver power to ships varies, as does the actual connection of the cables to a shipís electrical panel. In order for cold-ironing to be feasible, standardizing the number of power cables and the actual electrical connection to ships must be explored by the ports and shipping companies. Because the Princess Cruise Line is already cold-ironing at two ports on the West Coast, perhaps its connection system will become the standard for that industry.

Also, cold-ironing will increase the power demand. Some ports' existing power may not be sufficient to provide the additional power load.  An example of this is the Port of Long Beach, which needs more power bought in. The ability of electrical utility companies to provide the additional power load will vary from site to site. Ports will have to work with the utilities to design and install power distribution to meet the demands from cold-ironing.

Cold-ironing is proving to be technically feasible.  Also, cold-ironing is a way that most ports can reduce public health impacts to the surrounding communities and contribute to a more emission-free environment.

As this method becomes global, there will be an increase in the use of shore-port-to-ship converters.  Because each port will have different frequencies and voltages, a converter will become an economical solution. A TEMCo Shore-Port-to-Ship Power Converter is a unique frequency converter that performs multiple functions. It provides the possibility to connect to any shore power connection anywhere in the world ranging from 25 kVA to over 400 kVA. Supplying power is only half of what this converter does, it also stabilizes and offers power factor correction.

About TEMCo
TEMCo has many years of experience.  They manufacture and develop industrial power solutions and are dedicated to using the highest quality materials.  TEMCo has a staff of highly trained engineers that can design your equipment to meet any of your application requirements, and they provide the latest and best technology the industry has to offer.

TEMCo has had extensive experience manufacturing electrical power products since 1968.

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