Horizon 2020 – SME Instrument: Powercon

Onshore Power Supply in harbours

Since its start in 2009, Danish company Powercon has become one of the leading firms in offering solutions for conversion from one power frequency level to another in multi-megawatt power systems, applicable e.g. in specialized solutions for wind turbine systems.

When vessels and ships dock at quayside, they utilize large amounts of energy and power to sustain operation. Currently, mainly auxiliary engines driven by diesel or marine gas oil generate this power. Large cruise ships’ auxiliary power usage at quayside can be up to 20 MW, comparable to the electrical power consumption of a small northern European city with 10.000 inhabitants. It is therefore a dire question of making this supply of energy more efficient and with a lower carbon footprint. Higher taxes levied on onshore power compared to auxiliary engine supply of power, has been contributing to the lack of incentive to convert to OPS – a problem that has now been targeted by the European Commission.

Based on their existing product MobilePC, a 20 ft container serving as compacted conversion station aimed for usage in the wind turbine sector, Powercon has now developed a novel OPS solution. The successful employment of MobilePC over past years has proven the technology and brought a mobile, low cost conversion solution to its end-users. The OPS solution based on MobilePC can completely restructure the way energy is supplied at quayside, benefitting end-users not only by lowering cost but also through less emissions and greener energy use.

Innovayt helped Powercon obtain funding from EU’s SME Instrument Phase 1 for a feasibility study into the maturation of the solution for onshore power supply. Following this, Innovayt helped secure a substantial grant for Powercon of 2.5 million Euro from the SME Instrument Phase 2 for a large-scale demonstration of the solution at the Port of Kristiansand in Norway.

Peter Castberg Knudsen, Mechanical Designer at Powercon, says: “Originally, we tried applying for the SME Instrument ourselves, but had to realise that – with the high competition level in this instrument – we needed some external assistance to improve the presentation of our project idea. The help from Innovayt has now led to two successful proposals, enabling us to go further with our OPS project.”

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