The use of variable speed drives (VSD), which are frequency converters, instead of single-speed motors with throttle control is an increasing trend in shipboard installations, as the cost of energy has become a major factor in the economic planning of shipping companies.
The most common engineering approach is to simply place a VSD between the supplying switchboard and electric motor. Typically, this causes disadvantages and challenges, such as:
– VSD are wall mounted as loose units or floor mounted in drive cabinets, which increases the installation footprint.
– Power cables and cabling accessories are required for interconnecting the switchgear and the VSD.
– The solution requires extensive coordination among vendors.
Instead of additional cabling and interfaces of separate VSD installations, the integration of drives into either switchgear or driven equipment brings the benefits of the smart motor control centers combined with the energy saving potential of the VSD.
ABB ACS 800/850/880 drives can be integrated into the MNS low voltage switchboard. Lower power units may be built into a withdrawable module, while higher power units are installed as fixed units into the MNS switchboard. This solution ensures the following savings at every stage of the product lifecycle:
– No more field wiring between feeder and VSD.
– No more wall mounted or standalone VSD panels, which is more flexible and optimizes of the room layout.
– One vendor handles the complete solutions, which saves hours in the design engineering and project management.
– The standardized design enables shorter engineering and delivery times.
– The integrated solution can be routinely tested at the factory prior to delivery.
– The standardized design saves on the spare parts inventory.
– Energy savings due to variable speed operation of pumps, fans, etc.