Saving space on the seven seas

Pushing back the frontiers of space is not just about exploring the stars, but is also about expanding the passenger and crew areas onboard ocean liners.

Responding to the increasing demand for more luxury and more passenger cabin space in cruise ships, one of the biggest cruise ships company has undertaken a massive, two-year renovation of four ocean liners in their fleet. They have invested some 200 million euros to create more than 200 additional cabins per ship.

Their project will also increase the space for entertainment, shopping and aqua parks. When this huge renovation is completed, every ship will be 24 meters longer and have added 193 passenger cabins and 59 new crew cabins, increasing their capacity from 2,200 passengers to 2,680 (Regrettably not an ABB project).

Good things come in small packages

The entire marine industry faces similar challenges and space saving becomes more and more critical, which is why many turn to ABB and our new family of intelligent Emax 2 power manager air circuit breakers and Tmax XT molded case circuit breakers. These breakers meet the strict safety and efficiency requirements of the industry, while still fitting within a limited space.

The Emax 2 takes up less space than other breakers and enabling a switchboard size reduction of up to 25 percent. Similarly, the Tmax XT breakers are also smaller than standard breakers, having a 40 percent smaller footprint which can help to reduce cubicle sizes by between 25 and 50 percent.

Such space savings, made by using ABB family of breakers, was particularly important when installing the power distribution switchgear on a state-of-the-art ferryboat in Italy. The breakers needed some of the capabilities of a full-selective category B circuit breaker but had to be mounted horizontally in a compact space. The only breaker on the market that could meet these stringent demands was the ABB Emax E1.2.

Space saving can be made in nearly every conceivable vessel type. In a recent ABB feasibility study for a platform supply ship, its conventional switchboard containing an older generation of breakers, took up nearly 13 cubic meters. If instead using Emax 2 and Tmax XT, they could save close to 3 cubic meters of valuable onboard space. Furthermore, with advanced logical selectivity techniques, the total switchboard volume could further drop to just 7.5 cubic meters, saving a whopping 42 percent in space.

Not only small, but also smart

ABB compact breakers come with huge technology benefits. Tmax offers logical zone selectivity, based on communication among electronic trip units, and it introduces early fault detection and prevention functionality. It can detect a fault condition within 100 microseconds, forecasting the short-circuit value before it reaches its maximum. With its fast transmission protocol, Tmax provides molded-case circuit breakers with very high selectivity values, which is a requirement for marine electrical systems.

Emax 2 is the only low-voltage breaker capable of communicating via the peer-to-peer IEC 61850 protocols. It allows Emax 2 breakers to talk directly with each other without any additional external devices or dedicated programming. The family also offers generator protection that enables the number of other components installed to be reduced or eliminated, saving on space, materials and implementation time, while it also integrates the most advanced logical selectivity functions, particularly recommended in marine applications with more than one power supply source.

ABB offers both the most energy efficient and the smallest solution to protect power onboard maritime vessels. The Emax 2 and Tmax XT help to maximize cabin space and passenger activity areas by reducing the space needed for equipment dedicated to safety and thereby help to ensure more efficient and profitable maritime operations.

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About the author

Jarbas Ferro

I'm responsible for Technical Promotion in the SAM Region, where I coordinate the activities towards the consultants for the Protection and Connection products. I was part of the ABB's Protection and Connection business' global trainee program, where I had the opportunity to learn directly from our factories around the world all about our products and our strategy to the market. During the trainee program I made a Value Based Selling study for the Marine Segment where we showed that ABB's products are the best solution for the shipbuilders, being the most efficient and most compact in the market.
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