In late 2020, Ralspeed had the pleasure of working on one of the most advanced polar research vessels in the world. The team were tasked with commissioning and setting up the electric power supplies for the state-of-the-art research vessel, in time for its first polar operation in 2021.

On board the research vessel are large generators which feed the entire ship’s electrical distribution network, typically these are outputting 690vAC at a frequency of 60Hz. Various voltages and frequencies are required on board, so this is achieved by a combination of electrical transformers and frequency converters running special application software.

The Vacon NXP from Danfoss Drives was chosen for this task based on proven reliability and flexibility via the Grid Converter Application Software.

Two large 1180Amp NXC cabinets were set up as simple individual power supplies in ‘Island’ mode, supplying some of the main on-board electrical distribution.

Several smaller networks were supplied by dual converters for added redundancy, requiring synchronising to the grid. This was achieved with the micro grid functionality in the same software, allowing multiple electrical supply sources (frequency converters, mains or generators) to supply power onto the same grid.

Despite this being a new application for Ralspeed’s Engineers, everything was completed within the specified timeframes. All hardware was inspected and verified, both firmware up dated and latest applications downloaded to the converters.

All systems were left functioning as needed and the vessel was ready to be tested on time!

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