Ship Generator Control Upgrade

A narrow delivery timeline for a dry-dock maintenance window presented an opportunity for I S Systems to provide a speedy, low downtime solution.

The Goal

A self-discharging bulk-carrier with an annual delivery load of some 2 million tonnes of limestone required an upgrade to a 40 year old generator & control system. I S Systems was engaged to design a new control system retrofitted to the three existing 250kW generators , With a project commencement in January and a required delivery during scheduled dry-docking in March, the delivery timeframe was a significant factor in successful project delivery.

The Solution

I S Systems developed a solution using EPLAN Electric P8, which is a powerful, electric design package that greatly assisted in delivering a quality solution in a tight timeframe.

Almost all of the existing switchboard control wiring and hardware was removed and replaced, along with a number of upgrades to the 415V distribution system and the installation of a new Terasaki 1250A ACB. Installation was completed by Terasaki Singapore under supervision of I S Systems’ engineers. In spite of the tight timeframe, the electrical design and cell layouts were accurate, which made the installation instructions easy to follow.

New cell doors and and new controls were mounted and wired in I S Systems’ Tomago workshop, ready for installation on-board in Singapore. A new Woodward 2301E digital governor was installed for each generator prime-mover and a DEIF PPM-3 generator controller with power management capability was installed for each generator and shore supply connection. This combination gave good flexibility with the system configured to allow the crew to easily select generator dispatch priority and also the redundancy level for sailing at sea or manoeuvring in harbour where an extra generator is required to be online. Transfers to and from the shore supply were also automated by the DEIF PPM-3 generator controllers.

The upgrades to the main switchboard necessitated a protection study to be completed. This was conducted using ETAP, a powerful software tool which was used to calculate the fault level at each bus and analyse the coordination of the protection devices. Being a retrofit project, there were some cases where coordination could not be achieved with the existing hardware, but these were clearly identified and communicated through a protection study report.

The ability to control the system in manual mode was also a class requirement with the vessel being under survey by Lloyd’s Register. I S Systems engaged with LR at all stages of the upgrade, with design documentation submitted for appraisal, and LR surveyors present during the dry-dock works and testing and trials. The system performed as intended and the vessel completed trials ready to sail back to Australia in June 2021 with a return to normal service in July.

Generator Control Panels
Generator Control Panels, Instrumentation & alternator
Generator Control Panels & Instrumentation

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