ABB to equip HMNB Portsmouth with green power technology

Technology company ABB has been contracted to supply a shore-to-ship power solution to Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Portsmouth.

Photo: ABB

The naval base in Portsmouth, spread over 150 hectares, with 10 kilometers of waterfront, is home to almost two-thirds of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet, including frigates, vessels and the Fishery Protection Squadron.

In addition, the base will be home to two new aircraft carriers and the biggest ships ever built for the Royal Navy — HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

Now BAE systems, the contractor responsible for the dockyard electrical systems, is installing ABB’s new solution to energize high power consumption vessels in a pioneering project.

Previously, frequency conversion in the power supply at Portsmouth was carried out by rotary frequency converters (RFCs) – complex mechanical systems that combine motors, generators, drives and ancillary regulation and control equipment. As the RFCs in Portsmouth were nearing the end of their service life, BAE Systems turned to ABB for new technology.

As explained, ABB ‘s new solution is based on medium voltage static frequency conversion (SFC) technology. Unlike the RFC, the SFC has no moving parts, apart from its cooling fans, ensuring a high level of reliability with minimum maintenance requirements. Lower costs per MVA, proven technology and higher SFC efficiency (over 98%) allow a reduction in the total cost of ownership for end users, allowing savings of up to 25%.

ABB is supplying the SFC as part of a complete package including a dry-type 11 kilovolt (kV) to 6.6 kV transformer and control equipment to interface with the dockyard’s electrical management system. The project is scheduled for completion in 2019.

“Providing Portsmouth Navy Base with a (…) shore-to-ship power solution will help enhance overall efficiency while minimizing environmental impact,” Patrick Fragman, Head of ABB’s Grid Integration business, said.