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Connecting ships to shore side power has proven to be a technology that alleviates pollution issues within ports by effectively reducing emissions, noises and vibrations of vessels mooring in these ports. Shore connection of low voltage power vessels is now subject to an international standardization for improving safety and interoperability at berth.
Growth of shore connection applications at international levels has led standardization organizations such as IEC, ISO and IEEE to develop safer and more referenced processes.
The first standard of IEC/IEEE 80005 series, currently in force, regards high voltage power supplies for vessels. This standard specifies general requirements on shore side installations, ship to shore connection and interface equipment, ship requirements, system control and monitoring as well as testing of the installation. This standard includes requirements for various types of vessels like RoRo vessels, cruise ships, container vessels, LNG carriers and tankers.
During the past years, the industry stongly demanded a standard solution to connect low voltage vessels in order to allow interoperability from different vessels and ports, as well people and systems safety. Therefore , a low voltage shore connection systems (LVSC) is under development to meet this new standard. In addition, IEC /IEEE 80005-3 standard will describe practicable applications for ships requiring up to 1 MVA, on board the ship and on shore, to supply the ship with electrical power from shore.
To permit the development of the first low voltage shore connection installation, a Public Available Specification (PAS) of this new standard was released in August of this year 2014. The reference is:
IEC PAS 80005-3: Utility connections in port – Part 3: Low Voltage Shore Connection (LVSC) Systems – General requirements
How to get ready for this standardization?
The design guidelines described in the PAS IEC 80005-3:2014 address specifications for the electrical and mechanical interfaces, power ranges and safety. More specifically, the PAS deals with LV shore and ship distribution systems, control, monitoring, interlocking and power management systems, shore-to-ship connection and interface equipment, tests and operational sequences. This specification does not apply to electrical power supply during docking periods, e.g. dry docking and other out-of-service maintenance and repair. Low-voltage shore connection systems not exceeding 250 A, with a maximum of 125 A per cable and not exceeding 300 V to earth are not covered by this PAS.
These guidelines should be taken into account by engineering companies, ports and ship owners in the design, installation and testing of LVSC systems, to be prepared for the coming in force of the standard by end of 2016. The port of Bergen in Norway will be the first port in which offshore supply vessels will be in accordance with this new standard.