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PLUG
Power Generation during Loading and Unloading

PLUG is a new concept of power interface between LNG or container carriers, using electric propulsion and terminals, which allow them to provide or receive power from the local grid. PLUG is focused on the development and qualification of a quick connect/disconnect 6 600 volts ‘hands off’ concept and its associated power line with a power exchange capability of up to 25 MW.

Tags: Water

Background

Up until now, power interfaces between carriers and terminals have had limited capabilities (less than 1 MW), they do not meet LNG or crude carriers safety requirements and operate at a low voltage (440 volts). Furthermore they involve risky manual handling of heavy cables by the crew.

There is an emerging requirement to allow a higher power exchange between carriers and terminals in order to:

  • reduce local harbour emissions by supplying the carriers from the shore via onshore RES (renewable energy sources) (wind-powered) when available
  • use the carrier’s onboard power generation capability as a ‘shadow’ power source to meet power consumption demands if RES are not available.

Objectives

The PLUG project aims at developing a ‘hands off’ concept were a single crewmember can perform the connection/disconnection task without directly handling the power connector and the power cables. It will also feature the quick emergency safe disconnection capability required for LNG and crude carriers.

In addition, PLUG will address the development of operational crew and terminal procedures and of data exchange systems between all the stakeholders (charter companies, crews, ship owners, customs, terminal operators, power traders, power networks, power consumers or providers, etc.) in order to allow an easy and user-friendly power exchange operation without impairing cargo handling systems.

Description of work

The following work will be carried out during the project:

  • design, manufacture and test of 6 600 volt connector
  • design and manufacture of a full-size power line demonstrator
  • develop safety analysis to meet LNG carrier and terminal safety requirements
  • establish operational procedures relevant to both crews and terminals
  • develop a ‘link to the market’ data exchange system between all the stakeholders to support their power exchange strategy.

Results

The expected results are:

Full-size demonstrator tests of the whole power line.

Inputs to regulatory bodies, such as the International Maritime Organisation, to establish relevant guidance rules and standards for power interface between crude and LNG carriers and terminals.

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