Onshore Power Supply in harbours

Horizon 2020 - SME Instrument: Powercon

Client: Powercon A/S

Since its start in 2009, Danish company Powercon has become one of the leading firms in specialized solutions for wind turbine systems, enabling conversion from one power frequency level to another in multi-megawatt power 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 the last 3 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 has helped Powercon obtain funding in EUs SME Instrument (Phase 1) by writing the proposal. In Phase 1 the main goals are to review industry requirements and standards and refining the market introduction strategy, as well as to select initial end-users for further maturation of the system.



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 assistance from Innovayt has now led to a successful proposal and a Phase 1 grant, enabling us to go further with our OPS project.”

The challenge

Vessels and cruise ships docking at quayside use up enormous amounts of energy to keep their onboard operations running. Today, auxiliary engines onboard operating on marine gas oil is the main supplier of this energy, causing high cost as well as high levels of pollution. The need for sustainable Onshore Power Supply solution is severe, as a cruise ship can use up to 20MW when docked, which is equivalent to the power usage of a smaller northern European city of 10,000 inhabitants. Two of the major obstacles is the incompatibility with power frequency levels and higher taxes on OPS compared to fossil fuel usage on board.

The result

Based on their proven product MobilePC, Powercon has been able to develop an innovative solution for Onshore Power Supply (OPS). Compact conversion of power frequencies, using Powercon’s experience and knowledge from the wind energy sector, will enable a complete restructure of how energy is supplied at dockside. Converting to OPS-supply will contribute to lower costs for energy and a smaller carbon footprint.


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