Netherlands-based Astrol Electronic AG, in collaboration with KWx, has developed a solid-state 1-kV DC breaker switch for marine applications
DNV GL has awarded class approval to the 0.5-kA and 1.25-kA DC breaker switch. The technology provides maximum flexibility for onboard DC grids and protects against short-circuit currents in any part of the grid.
As marine applications are increasingly electrified and require more power, both new and refurbished vessels are expected to support larger electrical systems, capable of integrating alternative energy sources and storage systems. Traditionally, DP marine energy systems were designed for open bus mode. While safety remains an issue, DC links are also suitable for these applications.
Astrol-KWx said its design is safer than traditional designs. The DC breaker switch boasts lower maintenance costs and a reduced environmental footprint. The fast switch-off times of the DNV GL-approved DC breaker switch enable an easier validation of the selectivity zones in connected systems. This also applies to fault tolerance and live short-circuit testing of worst-case failure modes.
The company claims DC breaker technology ensures safety and reduces the ownership cost by preventing losses from system downtime, ship downtime, critical component failure, maintenance costs and is future-proofed as the largest models of the series are capable of handling up to 5 kA.
DNV GL is planning certification for the largest versions in 2020.