Bakker Sliedrecht powers cutter dredger with electricity

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10 May 2019

The cutter suction dredger is driven by electrical installations of Bakker Sliedrecht. The special feature of the dredger is that it will run entirely on shore power. This is a new terrain for dredgers.

The vessel does not sail on its own and is brought to the right position by multi cats. Because the cutter suction dredger is fully electrically powered, electrical system integrator Bakker Sliedrecht was commissioned. Especially because of his experience and expertise in the dredging sector and drive-related installations. Bakker Sliedrecht designed and supplied all the electrical installations, including the new ABB ACS 880 water-cooled drive converter, and the floating junction boxes on which the power cable is looped behind the ship. Verhoef EMC - a subsidiary of Bakker Sliedrecht - put together the switch boxes and the main switchboard.

Technical challenges

One of the challenges of the project is that the vessel’s 10 megawatts of electrical power is supplied via a 33 kV cable from the shore. On board, Bakker reduces this voltage to 3 x 400 volts for all auxiliary supplies and 3 x 690 volts for the dredging installations such as the cutter engine, dredging pumps, winches, and hydraulic installations. Together they need approx. 8-megawatt power. Due to possible extreme voltage fluctuations on the 33kV side, Bakker Sliedrecht had to pay extra attention to the delivered installation. In order to map out all the risks of the project, such as harmonic pollution and grid oscillations, and to come up with the right solutions, Bakker Sliedrecht carried out various simulations beforehand.

“The special feature of this vessel is that it operates on shore power. There is only one diesel generator present that functions as a port generator. That is new ground for dredgers and that is why our experience in the field of electric drive systems gave us a head start,” says electrical drive specialist Arend van der Velde and lead engineer Jaap Poortvliet of Bakker Sliedrecht.

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