Skip to main content



Monday, July 6, 2020 

Dutch company Bakker Sliedrecht has developed a generator protection system, CDG Protection, that it says increases safety and reliability when using generator systems in parallel operation.

The company says that when diesel-electric vessels sail with gensets in parallel in a closed bus power plant, this is more efficient and sustainable, but increases the risk of malfunctions. CDG Protection enables operating with a closed bus system in a safe and class approved manner. This is of particular importance for DP-equipped vessels, which cannot operate in blackouts, as well as for dual-fuel ships, where sailing on both gas and diesel has been known to lead to failures in the fuel supply.

The open bus system used by many DP vessels, with generators and switchboards in different independent isles, offers redundancy benefits but is efficient. Fuel consumption is relatively high, and emissions are higher, so there are operational cost and sustainability implications.

Modern ships prefer a closed bus or ring system with generators in parallel operation, allowing generators to be switched off or on when needed. This leads to more efficient use of diesel generators, fuel savings and less environmental impact. In this configuration a ‘sick’ generator will affect the ‘healthy’ components of the power plant, hence Bakker Sliedrecht has developed its CDG Protection system to guarantee safety and reliability.

“It is actually an addition to the security that is already in the generators and switchboards. With parallel operating diesel generators, you often do not immediately know which component is the cause of the malfunction. This system uses software to rapidly detect which ‘sick’ component is the cause and switch it off immediately to prevent the entire power plant from being dragged into a blackout,” said Paul Bracké, who worked on developing CDG protection over several years. “Working near the piles of an oil platform or wind turbine can be dangerous, so failure of the power plant can never be an option.”

The system detects electrical problems with the generators as well as problems with the diesel engine or fuel supply. Over the past year, the system has been extensively tested on a large crane vessel with four generators of 10MW each. Because the ship’s power plant is equipped with dual-fuel generators, the challenge was extra complex.

Bracké said: “CDG Protection is intended for all ships with a closed bus power plant, but for dual-fuel vessels there is another important aspect to be regarded. The dynamic behavior of a diesel engine is different when it runs on gas. This results in a higher dynamic load on the power plant and there are potentially more fuel problems as a result of the much more complex installation.”

Without generator protection, the crane vessel would not receive a classification to operate in DP2 closed ring mode. After various computer simulations, the CDG Protection was successfully tested in a pilot set-up of four generators, leading to approval by DNV-GL for on-board installation. The crane vessel is now the first dual-fuel DP2 vessel with a class-approved generator protection system.

Reader Comments (0)

There are currently no comments on this article. Why not be the first and leave your thoughts below.

Leave Your Comment

Please keep your comment on topic, any inappropriate comments may be removed.

Return to index