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DUTCH-DEVELOPED GENSET PROTECTION FOR DUAL FUEL DP SHIPS

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Bakker Sliedrecht has announced what it says is the first generator protection system (CDG-protection) for dual fuel vessels which operate with a dynamic positioning system (DP) 2 and 3. The system has been successfully tested by classification society DNV GL.

The CDG protection system will be deployed for the first time on an offshore heavy lift vessel, which is currently under construction. The ship is equipped with a power plant comprising four 10MW gensets which run on both diesel and LNG. Generator protection is essential to prevent a blackout or failure in the power plant, causing the ship to lose its position during operations.

Vessels that sail in DP 2 or 3 mode have to maintain their position at all times, even in case of failures or malfunctions. To prevent total power loss power plants are usually divided into independent isles. However, this makes generators run less efficiently, so running generators in parallel operation is normally preferred. To prevent cross-interference, a generator safety system is necessary. Bakker Sliedrecht’s CDG-protection system uses software to detect and disable an ‘unhealthy’ generator before it can affect the ‘healthy’ generators, making the entire power plant unstable. Dual fuel operation adds to the complexity because of the different characteristics of duel fuel engines which can unexpectedly switch from gas to diesel.

Without generator protection, a complex DP vessel cannot be certified to operate in DP2 or DP3 closed bus mode. Bakker Sliedrecht's CDG protection system has been further developed for complex work vessels, and the development has reached the stage where it can be deployed in the heavy lift vessel. During the last months, it has been extensively laboratory tested with four generators, to the requirements of ‘DNV GL Rules: DNV-RP-D102 closed busties’ with underlying rules ‘Part 4: Ch8 Electrical installations & Ch9 Control and monitoring systems’. The system has passed these tests comfortably even under dual fuel operation.

According to DNV GL, the heavy lift vessel will be the first dual fuel DP2 ship to be classed with a generator protection system. "So you can say that we are ground-breaking. Our technology will prevent the ship from getting out of position,” said Paul Bracké, technology manager, Bakker Sliedrecht. "That requires not only the first dual fuel generator protection system, but also a good power management and zone security system, including an experienced operator. Bakker Sliedrecht was able to combine all the required knowledge and has therefore achieved a world-class result.”

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