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The Challenge Of The High Seas: Power Busbar Systems For Maritime Applications

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The Challenge Of The High Seas: Power Busbar Systems For Maritime Applications
The Challenge Of The High Seas: Power Busbar Systems For Maritime Applications

Video: The Challenge Of The High Seas: Power Busbar Systems For Maritime Applications

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In principle, electrical control and switchgear systems on ships or offshore platforms hardly differ from industrial systems. However, the environmental conditions sometimes place higher demands on the construction elements and equipment. This can be due to the higher air humidity, larger air and creepage distances, or it can also be proof that screw connections cannot loosen due to the vibrations in a ship.

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The requirements for a design feature such as higher clearances or creepage distances can be implemented in a relatively simple manner. The situation is different when it comes to demonstrating the strength of screw connections under the vibration conditions. Especially if these are to ensure the current transmission of a busbar connection. On the one hand, the vibrations often act on a screw connection for years, on the other hand the frequency and acceleration that act on a screw connection can change constantly. Furthermore, the placement or the dimensions held by the screw connection within the systems are different. Different resonance frequencies can result within a switchgear. This shows how complex it can be to prove a secure screw connection.

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Test procedure defined

The ship classes have defined a test procedure for this purpose, which should provide this evidence. Here, for. B. a switchgear in the frequency range between 5 Hz to 13.2 Hz with an amplitude of ± 1 mm and from 13.2 Hz to 100 Hz with an acceleration of 0.7 g. In relation to the suggestion, the answer to the suggestion must not exceed a multiple increase. If the value is exceeded, the test is assessed as failed. If one or more resonance points are found at which the limit value is not exceeded, each of these resonance points must be left for 90 minutes so that the screw connections are stressed.

If several resonance points are close together, a 120-minute test can alternatively be carried out over this frequency range of the resonance points, which alternates continuously between the individual resonance points. This test can also take a few hours. I.e. the screw connections and the entire construction of the test object are put under enormous strain.

Faster when accepting the system

The components that pass this test are extremely safe when used on a ship. As a result, the manufacturer of a product receives a certificate that the type approval has been passed. The classification societies record the approved articles together with all documentation, instructions and technical data in their own database so that all inspectors in a class have access to the documents and can complete the approval process for shipbuilding projects more quickly. Various proofs of product properties no longer need to be checked. These have already been verified in the type examination. The respective inspector of a class only has to check the correct application according to the manufacturer's instructions and can handle document or system acceptance more quickly.

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As already described at the beginning, control and switchgear systems on ships are also subject to the general standard IEC 61439. For example, the tested system solutions from Rittal can be used for systems on ships or offshore applications. Through several environmental tests in the area of ​​vibration, Rittal has demonstrated in detail that for the areas on a ship in which control and switchgear systems are regularly installed, the screw and clamp connections of the busbar systems withstand these conditions and do not come loose.

Type approval granted

After analyzing the test reports according to IEC 61439, the material data, the instructions, the data sheets and with the newly carried out environmental tests with vibration, the classes American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Det Norske Veritas-Germanischer Lloyd (DNV-GL) and Lloyds Register of Shipping (LR) granted the requested type approval for the Ri-Line, Maxi-PLS and Flat-PLS busbar systems from Rittal.

With this type approval, the use of the busbar systems in different control cabinets is now very easy, since the acceptance process for these essential elements of a control or switchgear is simplified. (sh)

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