Onboard Microgrid to Help Smaller Vessels Optimize Fuel Efficiency
The Onboard Microgrid is based on the principles of ABB’s award-winning power distribution system Onboard DC Grid™ with the proven ability to enable up to 20% energy efficiency in larger vessels. This new compact-size solution can be used for vessels running on batteries, fuel cells, or as fuel cell/battery hybrids.
Onboard Microgrid allows for the flexibility to draw on multiple energy sources and variable speed drives to optimize operating efficiency and, as a result, cut emissions. Onboard Microgrid connects all DC links and distributes the power through one main DC circuit, providing significant power savings and optimizing the vessel’s propulsion. It also reduces the footprint and weight of the electrical equipment on board by eliminating the need for bulky transformers and main switchboards.
The first installation has already been authorized in an extensive hybrid conversion for San Cristoforo, a 386-tonne passenger and car ferry sailing in Lake Maggiore in Italy. The compact system will enable the ferry to make the best use of available power by pooling hotel and propulsion power sources via a DC-link. With that, generator sets or batteries can be deployed based on user needs, in either diesel, hybrid or electric modes.
“Onboard Microgrid addresses a specific segment of the market, with smaller vessels playing an important role in shipping’s electric, digital and connected future,” said Juha Koskela, Managing Director, ABB Marine & Ports.
The complete Onboard Microgrid solution includes a programmable controller to implement ABB’s Power Management System (PMS) and generator start-up, propulsion speed control, generator overload protection, control and supervision of operating modes, battery load control and signal handling.