Standby power for marine applications

Background

Electronic equipment, such as navigation, bridge and communication systems, depend upon a reliable source of uninterruptible power to ensure themarine applications safety of marine vessels and offshore installations. UPS Systems plc has a longstanding reputation for supplying marine-approved uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to the industry, offering technical advice and ensuring critical systems are maintained in the event of mains power loss.

Since 2009, UPS Systems has worked closely with Marine Electrical Installations Ltd (MEI), in Kirkintilloch, Glasgow. Established in 2001, MEI offers comprehensive mechanical and electrical engineering services for a wide range of marine applications, including the new build, refit and refurbishment of offshore oil and gas rigs, cruise ships, ferries and tankers worldwide.

Requirement

MEI’s customer, a global oil and gas company, requested the refit of several UPS aboard part of its oil and gas tanker fleet. UPS Systems plc provided technical advice and marine-approved equipment that met the specific requirements of the marine industry. When MEI specified its requirements, several factors had to be taken into account when choosing the right system, including shape, size, weight, and stability during sea conditions.

Providing standby power for computer-based electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS) was the primary use for the UPS. This vital electronic equipment is used by vessels to provide continuous position and navigational safety information and alerts personnel to navigational hazards. Position, heading and speed are integrated with electronic navigational charts (ENC) or digital nautical charts (DNC), while radar and automatic identification systems (AIS) may also be interfaced and displayed by ECDIS.

Solution

As the UK’s largest independent supplier of standby power solutions, UPS Systems plc was able to offer impartial technical advice on a range of standby power solutions that adhered to the strict maritime standards.

During 2014, UPS Systems plc supplied MEI with 25 UPS systems for installation in maritime vessels and offshore installations. Each vessel was equipped with three DNV Type Approved Eaton 9130M 1000VA UPS, along with marine electronic noise filters, mounting kits and vibration absorbers.

Eaton is one of the world’s largest providers of standby power systems to the marine and oil and gas industries.

Its 9130 marine UPS models are both DNV and ABS type-approved. This means they are specifically adapted to meet the challenging marine environment in which sensitive electrical equipment is required to operate. The hardened mechanical compact tower UPS design provided easy installation for the ships’ electricians. Positioning the UPS securely was aided by mounting rails, allowing the units to be bolted or welded to the deck/bulkhead or shelf.

Electronic ‘noise’ can lead to severe disruption to radio and other sensitive electronic equipment. On-board alternators, ignition systems and running motors can cause this type of interference, which may result in garbled images on visual display units and static noise on audio equipment and radios. Specialised filters supplied with the UPS were used to prevent electronic interference.

Results

The UPS were installed aboard several large oil tankers to provide a continuous source of backup power in the event of a power failure aboard ship. The systems ensured that essential electronic equipment, particularly the ECDIS navigation systems, remained online and operational at all times.

Tony Hutchinson, sales manager for MEI commented:

“We’ve worked with UPS Systems plc for several years and purchase standby power systems from the company on a regular basis. The impartial advice and technical knowledge of the sales team is extremely beneficial, particularly when we need products that are required to meet marine standards. The fact that UPS Systems can supply us with DNV type-approved equipment that comes with purpose-built marine installation kits makes our purchasing decision much easier; we know the products will be up to the job.”

For more information about marine-certified UPS systems and emergency standby power requirements, visit www.upssystems.co.uk