The electrical propulsion and power plant concepts started to gain stronger foothold at 1980’s. Following two-three decades, the concept remained mainly diesel-electric and was considered for certain vessel types only. During all these years ABB Marine has been actively acting as a front runner for the electrical concepts development where the focus has been on the system level deliveries. These years were also necessary experience, when considering the downsizing of the functional concept, but external triggers were needed to have suitable technical equipment on the market.
As a reply to this boom, ABB developed an industrial product HES880 that was designed for very limited spaces, high ambient temperature and water cooling condition, and to tolerate external forces. Harsh environment drive HES880 was designed originally to be under the hood of engine space but it was providing an unexpected solution: it was perfectly matching the requirements inside the ships.
This combination of two vital ingredients – the long experience and small scale robust equipment – do play an important role in the development work of Onboard Microgrid concept, where designs are standardized and options are limited, yet with sufficient features to meet the needs in this market.
The design criteria for Onboard Microgrid were created with high ABB standards, as usually. The system was aimed to be cost competitive, fully seamless integrated solution, simple to install and operate, and with minimal footprint to enable expansion of electrical propulsion concepts to the vessel types and sizes, where it has not been possible before.
Such an external accelerator of technology has been the popularization of hybrid concepts in the vehicles.