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Use Case

Embedded power cabinets for ships

Complex cabinets for oil and gas ships
Customer active in the Oil & Gas Industry Industry Magnetic bearing technology, on-board UPS cabinet to secure and protect power supplies and a controller

Context and background

Ships need on-board magnetic bearing technology for different purposes: charging and discharging of liquids, stabilization of the ships with water or management of the ship’s cooling flow are some examples. Magnetic bearing is used because of they operate without any physical contact and require no lubrication, repair or bearing replacement. It offers many advantages: low energy consumption, active management, repositioning and integrated vibration management.

Magnetic bearings work with electricity and therefore require a stable and always available power supply. Indeed, a sudden power outage could destroy the motor.

Alpha Innovations' Solution

Our customer, a manufacturer of magnetic bearings, had already worked with us in the past for fixed offshore stations. Satisfied with our collaboration, he selected Alpha for a new type of application: on-board equipment for ships. Of course, as the environment is different from previous projects, modifications and adaptations had to be made… and that’s one of our specialties!

Based on the previous solution offered, our team has analyzed and determined what should be modified to cope with this harsh environment:
Improved protection with a IP55 enclosure to protect the equipment against dust and water projection and have a wide temperature range
• The base of the cabinet has been changed to a more robust with shock absorbers
• Tropicalized PCBs to prevent dust, moisture and condensation from causing short circuits
• More robust mechanics to resist vibrations (e.g. reinforced fixations for everything that is “rackable”)

Advantages of the solutions

Low maintenance rate

We have carefully selected the components of our solution to ensure that they have the longest lifespan possible. With our built-in monitoring, automatic tests are performed on the batteries at regular intervals (determined by the customer) and a report is sent. In addition, the system is designed with redundancy, so if a problem occurs, there is time to schedule maintenance. The self-tests and redundancy limit the number of on-site interventions and, above all, make it possible to plan the intervention.

Limited footprint

The amount of space on a boat is limited, it is therefore important to take into consideration the footprint of the solution provided. Our customer has given us space requirements and we have designed our solution based on them.

Stable power

As mentioned before, the power used to feed the magnetic bearings and motor must be very stable. A small change in voltage, frequency or power can impact the entire equipment. Our years of experience in very demanding markets have enabled us to provide a stable, high quality and reliable power system.

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