Shore power solutions

Use a shore power solution to plug in to the onshore electricity grid. This saves fuel and cuts harmful emissions.

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Shore power solutions help save fuel

Shore power solutions from Wärtsilä help vessels save fuel and decrease their emissions because they can plug in to the onshore electricity grid when in port. Without shore power, the vessels would have to use auxiliary engines to generate power. 

Shore power systems are becoming standard in newbuild vessels, and they are a popular retrofit option for existing vessels as well.

What is shore power?

Shore power refers to the possibility for a ship to plug in to an onshore electricity grid when in port. With shore power, the vessel does not have to use its auxiliary engines to generate power. This decreases emissions and noise.

Shore power can also be used to charge the energy storage system on board the ship.
Other terms for shore power include: 

  • Alternative Marine Power (AMP)
  • Onshore Power Supply (OPS)
  • cold ironing
  • shore connection
  • shore power connection. 

All these terms are typically used for IEC-80005 standardized plug solutions (IEEE SA - IEEE/IEC 80005-1-2019 most used in the High Voltage version), which ensure that the vessel will be able to get shore power in any commercial port.

How does shore power work?

3D illustration of the components of a shore power system

The power grid (for example 8kV, 50Hz) feeds the power conversion system, such as an e-house or container in the port.

In this e-house or container the electrical power is converted to the IEC standard, which is 60hz and for most vessels 6.6kV or Direct Current for a battery charging application. The power conversion system includes a converter, transformer, cooling and fire fighting system.

Then the cable handling system allows the heavy cables to be lifted up to the ship. On the ship an incoming panel is placed in a confined room, where the operator connects the ship to shore power.

The power is often via a transformer (if ship grid is low voltage) connected to the main switchboard. The Wärtsilä shore power control system and built in safety features ensures safe and seamless operation.

Shore power as Alternative Marine Power

When a vessel uses Alternative Marine Power (AMP) while in port, it can turn off the genset and take power from shore. This reduces the vessel’s emissions and fuel consumption.

Container vessels and passenger vessels often use an AMP solution. Current legislation determines that both vessel type have to use shore power in EU ports from 2030 onwards. Other users include RoRo vessels, LNG carriers, tankers, ferries, and mega yachts.

Shore power for charging

The term charging (or ferry charging) is used for a variety of alternative and non-regulated or tailored solutions that provide shore power to battery powered or hybrid ships for the purpose of charging their battery.

A chargeable, on-board energy storage system allows a vessel to operate without running its engines. Using a zero-carbon on-shore power grid for charging means that the vessel can achieve zero-carbon operations when it is battery-powered.

The main advantage of charging solutions is a shorter connection time. This is important for ferries that only have a few minutes of time for charging their battery when they load and unload on each turnaround.

All vessel charging systems have the same set up onshore like Alternative Marine Power, which includes more than just the cable handling system – the visible part that connects power to the ship.

Why shore power?

A shore power connection will save fuel and cut your vessel emissions – and there are five more exciting reasons why it’s time to invest in ship to shore power!

Learn the basics about shore power and discover why it is such a green choice – in less than two minutes!

Customer cases

To date, Wärtsilä has delivered more than 150 shore power solutions to ships. In fact, Wärtsilä’s solution was the reference for the Long Beach port – the first one that made shore power mandatory.

The world’s largest zero-emissions lightweight catamaran ferry, ordered by Buquebus and built by Incat Tasmania will have the world’s largest DC shore charging system. 

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A shore power connection can reduce emissions

Using renewable power via a shore connection is a great way to reduce your emissions. You will find 49 more ways in a fascinating eBook “50 great ways the maritime industry could cut its greenhouse gas emissions”. Learn more:

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Contact us today to learn how shore power solutions from Wärtsilä can benefit your operations.

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