MVDC Marine Electrical Distribution: Are we ready?
Marine high-power on-board electrical systems are predominantly utilizing three-phase medium voltage alternating current (MVAC) distribution. Depending on the size and purpose of the ship, on-board electrical systems provide supply to loads in excess of 60MW. Increasingly, medium voltage direct current (MVDC) distribution systems are being considered as an alternative. An increase in the fuel efficiency of the prime movers, the removal of bulky low frequency transformer and the easier integration of different storage technologies are especially attractive. This paper discusses the opportunities but also the technical difficulties associated with the transition from an MVAC to an MVDC system, using an existing LNG tanker MVAC on-board distribution system, as example.