Ritchie, D.; Booth, C. (Institute for Energy and Environment, University of Strathclyde, UK)
Devlin, J. (Frazer Nash Consultancy, UK)
The rapid advancement of complex, compact and efficient technologies in power systems (DC breakers, power converters, superconducting fault limiters, etc.) has allowed new concepts associated with marine electrical architectures and power systems to become reality. Advances in this area will facilitate cheaper, lighter, more efficient and future-proof electrical architectures, with DC zonal systems attracting a high level of interest. Such architectures will offer far greater levels of flexibility, redundancy and survivability compared to their AC counterparts. This paper investigates the possibilities of different marine electrical system architectures that may be used in future and presents the relative advantages and potential disadvantages associated with each. Research has focussed on moving from the predominantly used AC radial distribution systems towards DC zonal distribution in order to achieve the potential benefits previously stated. The use of a DC zonal architecture on future marine power systems will be reviewed and assessed, with regards to differing layouts and protection schemes. Major issues with protection and control of such designs will be studied and current solutions that have been proposed by others will be reviewed. Future aims of the research project in terms of development, simulation and testing of feasible solutions will also be discussed.