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The Motor Ship Propulsion 2006

HV ELECTRIC POWER AND PROPULSION SOLUTIONS FOR NEW GENERATION OF LNG CARRIERS WITH VARIOUS PROPULSION SYSTEMS

Jan Fredrik Hansen & Rune Lysebo


ABB AS, Hasleveien 50, P.O box 6540 Rodelokka N-0501 Oslo, Norway The introduction of HV (High Voltage) electric power systems on LNG carriers have developed during the past 6 years, and is lately also introduced as propulsion system. As the LNG vessels gradually increased in size the amount of installed power increased consequentially, and the need for a change from low voltage (LV) systems to a high voltage (HV) system was seen in 2000. After this year more or less all new buildings of LNG carriers above 135 000 cbm, have been ordered with HV power system. In 2003 various alternatives of propulsion systems where introduced as Dual Fuel Electric Propulsion and Two Stroke Propulsion with reliquefaction plant. Both this systems require a HV power plant with converter drives either for propulsion or reliquefaction compressors. For the electric propulsion system the power plant is combined both for propulsion and cargo handling and the total installed power is less than for any other propulsion alternatives as the cargo plant and propulsion system is not used simultaneously.

INTRODUCTION Electric power systems on todays LNGs consist of relative large and modern High Voltage (HV) power plants with advanced frequency converters for control of propulsion and gas compressors. This gives some new requirements and opportunities for operation and maintenance that differs from previous generation of LNG Carriers. Traditionally from the 1960s the LNG carriers have been equipped with a steam turbine propulsion plant together with a Low Voltage (LV) electric network for supply of cargo pumps and other electric consumers. During the years the vessel size gradually increased and installed electric power increased consequentially, mainly because of the need for more cargo pump capacity. When the vessel size increased above 130 000 cbm the total installed electric power increased above 10MW, and because of short circuit level of the main switchboard, HV system was introduced in the first LNG carriers in 2000. 6,6kV or 3,3kV systems were installed in the LNG carriers with HV cargo pumps for the cargo handling, however still with steam turbine propulsion. Because the cargo pumps are only used during unloading operation at the terminal the total utilization factor of this power plant is quite low.

In 2003 with the introduction of alternatives means for utilizing the boil-off gas in engines, the first Dual Fuel Electric Propulsion LNG carriers were ordered in France [1]. The main driving factor for the change was the overall improved efficiency, but also other factors as less total installed power, lower emissions, improved manoeuvrability, etc should be emphasized. Basically the same HV power plant as used for the conventional LNGs is installed in these vessels, except for the additional equipment of variable speed drive system for the propulsion and upgrade of installed generator power to match the propulsion requirement. Other propulsion systems as two-stroke direct diesel with reliquefaction plant was also ordered in 2004 for LNG carriers above 200 000 cbm. Also these vessels require a large installed HV power plant for the cargo handling and reliquefaction plant. Because the reliquefaction plant requires gas compressors up to 6MW, converter solutions are necessary to be used in order in start and operate these compressors. Other alternative propulsion systems are also under discussion such as Gas Turbine Electric Propulsion. This system will use Gas Turbines for prime movers, however the electric distribution and propulsion system will be same as for the Dual-Fuel electric propulsion system.

MotorShipPropulsion2006

The Motor Ship Propulsion 2006


LNG carriers with LV switchboards: 440V & Steam Propulsion
1960 - 2001

LNG carriers with HV switchboards: 3,3kV & 6,6kV & Steam Propulsion
2000 200?

LNG carriers with HV switchboards & El. Propulsion: 6,6kV or 11kV Power & Propulsion
2003 >

LNG carriers with Azipod Propulsion 6,6kV or 11kV Power & Propulsion
200? > Future requirements for ice going and maneuvering

Figure 1: LNG Carriers; towards a new generation

In future also more stringent requirements will be introduced also to LNG carriers, such as operation in ice, high manoeuvrability, dynamic positioning etc. Such requirements will lead to further development of LNG carriers and its propulsion arrangement. One possible change is to use podded propulsion, which have been successfully implemented in other ship types as cruise vessels, icebreakers and ice going tankers, instead of traditional shaft lines. Figure 1 show schematically the development electric power and propulsion system for LNG carriers. This paper describes the different configurations of the electric power system for the various propulsion systems; - Steam turbine propulsion - Dual- fuel electric propulsion - Two- stroke propulsion - Gas turbine propulsion system. Further special characteristics and requirements for the electric power distribution and propulsion systems are discussed, including pros and cons for each type. POWER SYSTEM CONFIGURATIONS

of either 3,3kV or 6,6kV. As the installed power have increased to more than 10MW, the short circuit level of the main switch board will require a higher voltage level than the traditional LV-systems. First of all personnel safety is increased as the HV switchboard systems are designed for arc-proof operation and the reliability of a high voltage switchboard is higher than for a LV switchboard of similar current ratings. Figure 2 shows a typical configuration of the electric power plant. Two steam turbine generators and one diesel generator brings the total installed power to a level between 1012 MW. For most of the LNG carriers the HV switchboard is splitted into 4 sections, two main switchboard and two cargo swbds. All HV cargo pumps, Low Duty (LD) and High Duty (HD) compressors are normally installed on the cargo swbd, and the ballast pumps and bow thrusters is normally installed on the main swbd. For some carriers the main and cargo swbd is combined into one switchboard with only 2 sections. Because some of the motors are relative large with power in the range of 12 MW, special consideration must be made for the starting arrangement. Reduced voltage starting arrangement may be used to comply with all classification rules for the electric system. Dual-Fuel Electric Propulsion: With the introduction of Dual Fuel (DF) engines this solution became highly attractive for LNG carriers, especially since the total propulsion efficiency increased with about 40% compared to the steam turbine system.

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This section presents the different HV power system configurations that are used or proposed for the different propulsion alternatives of the LNG Carriers. Steam Turbine Propulsion: After 2001 almost all new buildings of steamturbine LNG carriers have been equipped with HV power generation and distribution system

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Figure 2: Steam turbine propulsion configuration

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The Motor Ship Propulsion 2006


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drive systems for the propulsion. The configuration in Figure 3 shows an example with single propeller and two electric motors connected to a common gearbox. Each converter is RPM controlled by a frequency converter. Other configurations as twin propellers (with or without gearbox), single propeller with two motors in tandem connection (without gearbox) is also applicable for LNG vessels. The difference in these systems is on the mechanical side. For the electric network it will be the same configuration. Introducing frequency converters in a power system also introduces effects as harmonic distortion. The harmonic distortion levels must be addressed in the design and engineering stage. With the combination of propulsion transformers (24-pulse) as shown in Figure 3, the harmonic distortion can be kept within classification limits. It should be noted that such propulsion systems is not a new concept, it has existed for a long time on other ship types as for example cruise ships. The experience from these ship types are brought into the design of the electric propulsion plants for LNG carriers. With the latest generation of Voltage Source Inverters (VSI), with possibility to operate both on induction machines and synchronous machines, this converter technology is available for propulsion motors with ratings up to 26-28 MW [3], giving a high network power factor and relative low harmonic distortion level. With the Direct Torque Control (DTC), utilized on the ABB converter type ACS 6000, also torque ripple and vibration level on the motor shaft is kept at a minimum. Two-Stroke Propulsion For the large LNG carriers (>200 000cbm) of the Qatar Gas II project, the propulsion system was selected to be twin propellers with two stroke diesel engines directly on the propeller shaft. This system will require a relative large reliquefaction plant (5-6MW) onboard for taking the boil of gas back to liquid form for return to the cargo tanks. Even though the propulsion efficiency itself is high, the total efficiency is lower than for the DF electric propulsion as the running of the reliquefaction plant will require additional 5 6 MW of electric power.

Figure 3: Dual Fuel Electric propulsion configuration

The emissions will also be lower because of the efficiency and the possibility to operate 100% on gas. On the electrical side other advantages are considerably less total installed power onboard the ship as the electric power plant could serve both the propulsion system and cargo handling system. Because the cargo pumps are not operated in sea-mode condition the power plant can be sized for propulsion requirements only. However the selection of rating and number of DF generators should reflect all operating modes to get most economical operation of the DF engines. Figure 3 shows a typical configuration for the power and propulsion system. The main power generation and distribution system is similar as on the Steam Turbine ship types, utilizing an already existing HV power plant also for the propulsion. The rating of the generators is adjusted to match the required propulsion power, but for the ship sizes around 150 000cbm it is still feasible to use 6,6kV switchboards. The propulsion power for vessel size around 150 000cbm is in the range from 2 x 12-14MW. If the ship size increase to 200 000 cbm or above, 11kV switchboard systems should be considered as the required propulsion power would be higher and consequentially also the installed generator capacity. However at present state the cargo pumps are only available up to 6,6kV, which means that distribution transformers between the main and cargo switchboard would be necessary. The additional equipment compared to steam turbine system is the variable speed electric

MotorShipPropulsion2006

The Motor Ship Propulsion 2006


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and design must consider the whole electric systems and not only focus on single components. In electric networks parameters of one component easily influence other components or system performance. Gas Turbine Electric Propulsion Another alternative for LNG carrier propulsion system is to use gas turbines in combination with electric propulsion. The efficiency of this solution would be in the same range or even higher than for the dual fuel electric propulsion, depending if combined cycle is used or not. The following two different solutions are investigated; 2 gas turbines in simple cycle or 1 larger gas turbine in combination with 1 steam turbine in combined cycle. For both solutions 1 or 2 additional diesel generators are also considered. Besides the high efficiency (combined cycle), easy installation and maintenance is highlighted as the main benefits. Figure 5 shows an example of a typical layout (combined cycle) with one big main generator, one smaller steam turbine and one back-up diesel generator. 11kV is suggested as voltage level for this system, as the installed power is higher for matching propulsion requirements of vessels above 200 000 cbm. 11kV also reduce the current rating for the circuit breaker of the gas turbine generator to a reasonable level. The only disadvantage with using 11kV at the main switchboard is that the cargo pumps are only available for 6,6kV today, and transformers between the main and cargo switchboards must be installed.

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Figure 4: Two stroke propulsion configuration

Together with the cargo pumps this will require an electric power plant with 15-20MW of installed power in addition to the two stroke propulsion plant. Figure 4 shows a typical configuration of the power plant for the two-stroke propulsion solution. The main distribution and generation system is similar to the other systems with a 4 split main HV switchboard and 4 generators. Compared with the DF electric propulsion system the only difference is that the propulsion drives are replaced with reliquefaction drives. Several starting methods were discussed for starting of the reliquefaction compressors. However the use of reduced voltage starting methods as auto transformer or soft starter is not sufficient to get a satisfactory performance of the power system during the start time of the motors. Factors as transient voltage dip, reactive loading of generators during starting time, network power factor, and possible tripping of motor during start-up were all found to be outside or close to the limits of a stable network solution. Using a frequency converter is the only solution to give a smooth starting characteristic of the compressor motors without compromising with the stability of the electric network. There is no transient voltage dip, the network power is high (>0.95), and the possibility to adjust parameters during commissioning and sea trial, is beneficial for fine tuning and optimising the performance of the compressor. However the use of frequency converters introduces harmonic distortion. As this electric system is similar to the electric propulsion system, engineering

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Figure 5: Gas-turbine propulsion configuration.

MotorShipPropulsion2006

The Motor Ship Propulsion 2006


Otherwise the electric propulsion system is identical to the propulsion system presented for the DF alternative, except for the twin propeller solution which is also normally proposed for LNG carriers above 200 000 cbm. The propulsion power for these vessels would typically be in the range from 2 x 1517MW. ENGINEERING AND DESIGN CRITERIA Short circuit levels Transients Harmonic distortion Comparison between the different solutions

CONCLUDING REMARKS hhh

REFERENCES [1] R Courtay, L Claes and J Sainson, LNG Carriers Using Gas Fuel Only, Diesel Gas Electric Propulsion, Proc. of the 14th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquefied Natural Gas, Doha, Qatar, March 2004. [2] J. F. Hansen, R. Lysebo, Electric propulsion for LNG carriers. LNG Journal, September/October 2004. [3] xxxxxxx ACS 6000 converters

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