Roger SandnesRoger has considerable experience in the maritime industry, having worked as a service engineer, project manager and in sales. His experience stretches from working as a service engineer to starting up offices in Singapore, Rotterdam and Dubai. He has broad international experience with a background in the maritime satellite industry, aquaculture and marine electro solutions.
DC switchboards in combination with new energy sources
Vard Electro sees plug-in potential for green energy sources as the industry faces an AC/DC dilemma on transmission networks. Green energy technologies such as batteries, fuel cells, solar and wind are on the rise in shipping, but these will require a shift in existing power distribution systems on board vessels to realize gains in fuel efficiency and environmental performance. Diesel-electric systems with engines running at fixed speed have typically used AC (alternating current) switchboards, or power grids, to supply power for propulsion systems and thrusters, alongside frequency converters to control propeller speed for greater efficiency. However, the use of AC switchboards is now being challenged by the emergence of renewable energy sources and energy storage systems mostly using DC (direct current) that require multiple DC-AC conversion, meaning more components with greater complexity and less control of the power system. This has increased the focus on the potential advantages in terms of controllability, flexibility, cost savings and reduced fuel consumption of DC switchboards, which were first developed about a decade ago but have so far only been installed on a limited number of vessels such as hybrid and all-electric ferries, PSVs and fishing vessels. Vessels with variable loads are dynamic position vessels, fishing vessels, ferries, all vessels that may be upgraded in the future, vessels with a high amount of VFD loads, well boats, cable-laying vessels, etc.