Yaskawa Environmental Energy/The Switch will introduce a unique, ultra-fast protection method to make low-voltage DC distribution on vessels safe, efficient and redundant. Vessels can continue operating at full power, unaffected by the detection and isolation of any electrical fault. Power is secure for ride-through operations.
The new-generation The Switch DC-Hub consists of two breakthrough components – an electronic DC breaker (EDCB) and an electronic bus link (EBL). Both guarantee selectivity and safety through ultra-rapid fault detection and disconnection. This ensures complete redundancy in DC power distribution for fully electric and hybrid vessels.
The EBL connects multiple DC-Hubs in a vessel’s DC distribution system to isolate faults, ensure redundancy and protect interconnections between multiple DC-Hubs. The EBL splits onboard grids in microseconds. It isolates any faulty DC-Hub so other DC-Hubs are not affected.
The EBL also guarantees selectivity between DC-Hubs. If a fault occurs, the EBL rapidly disconnects them to isolate the fault. Furthermore, the EBL enables a ring network to be formed from multiple DC-Hubs, ensuring redundancy no matter how large the system.
The Switch EDCB is an ultra-rapid semiconductor-based electronic breaker integrated inside inverter modules to protect against short-circuit faults. It increases redundancy within a DC-Hub by detecting, cutting and isolating any critical fault in 10 microseconds – much faster than the milliseconds needed to cut a conventional fuse.
Fuses work for AC systems, but as the fault current in DC distribution does not have zero crossing, protection devices need much higher performance. The Switch concept is based on rapid current measurements and predictable protection.
The EDCB’s selectivity reduces fault duration and isolates any damage to just the affected module. This ensures the least-possible energy disruption.
The EDCB can also be used, for example, to connect large batteries by blocking their high short-circuit current, which existing marine DC systems cannot handle.
The EDCB and EBL are standard building blocks in The Switch marine drive offering but they are unique and completely game-changing in the marine industry, allowing The Switch DC-Hubs to perform at the highest levels of efficiency and reliability.
Along with the widest range of The Switch permanent magnet machines, these solutions help shipowners optimize operational uptime, control costs and ensure sustainability. Any ship type from ferries to tankers can improve efficiency, savings and reliability with this technology.