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DNV GL Approved Inverters

Yaskawa A1000 inverter drives approved for marine engineering.

DNVGL LogoThe classification and assurance company DNVGL, formerly known as two separate companies Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and Germanischer Lloyd (GL), have certified the 0.4 to 300kW classes of the A1000 inverter drive from Yaskawa for use in the maritime industry. This means that these high performance drives meet the high standards and requirements of the industry. The advantages of A1000 drive technology is now available for use in numerous marine specific applications.

Classification societies are extremely demanding when it comes to the level of safety testing required before they are prepared to give their approval for use in safety critical applications, particularly in the case of ships where there should be no compromise on quality and thus on reliability. Space is limited aboard ships and they operate in tough environments. For this reason, technical solutions for marine applications must use as little space as possible, while being easily accessible, extremely reliable and very low-maintenance. The compact standard inverter drives of the Yaskawa A1000 series meet all of these requirements.

The A1000 units are easily accessible and have proven to work reliably even when subjected to the unfavourable environmental operating conditions, such as fluctuations in temperature and constant vibration, they are also suitable for use in centralised systems using a variety of communications protocols. The range of possible applications on ships and in offshore systems is diverse.

Vessel manoeuvrability:

Marine VesselLarger ships use transverse thrusters that are controlled by inverter drives to compensate for changes in current or wind speed to prevent the vessel running the risk of drifting off course. Bow and stern thrusters provide for better manoeuvrability, make docking easier, and reduce damage caused by repeated bumping during the docking manoeuvre. At the same time, the port authorities are paying increasing attention to causing as little damage to the environment as possible. Given these circumstances, electrically powered thrusters provide a significant advantage, because the ship requires a minimum amount of fuel and still remains manoeuvrable at all times. They also reduce vibrations and noise. In smaller ships, inverter drives optimise these electric drive concepts and controls.

 

Pumping stations, ventilation systems and water supply facilities:

Precise, fail-proof control of the temperature and humidity must always be ensured on ships and drilling platforms. This places high demands on the drive components that operate in ventilators and pumps. They can also help to improve energy efficiency. Using a ventilation system as an example: instead of controlling the air current with throttle valves at constant full motor capacity, inverter drives adjust the motor speed to exactly meet the current requirements.

Lifts, port cranes and hoists:

In lifting applications, inverter drives optimise the brake controls and timing of the brakes as they open and close. At the same time, they monitor the speed, torque and motor current of the lift drive. This reliably prevents the brakes from opening in case of an overload or an interrupted motor circuit – for example, due to faulty cables or magnetic contactors. Slipping brakes are also detected and reported. There are numerous special functions available for economical and highly dynamic crane operation with short cycle times. For example, the drive automatically optimises the crane’s lifting and lowering speeds using the Ultra Lift function.

A1000 variable speed drive 

In addition to these shipping specific functions, the A1000 inverter drive offer even more advantages: they allow asynchronous or permanent magnet synchronous operation with or without encoder feedback. They are perfect for both simple applications such as energy saving pumps and fans, and for use in more complex drives with synchronous operation and positioning.

The Yaskawa A1000 variable speed drive also includes IP54 compliant models that operate reliably even under the tough humid operating conditions found at sea. Two different models are available: units in their own IP54 compliant enclosures, or units that can be easily integrated into appropriate enclosures.

The power of the processor technology in the A1000 drive has been applied to make the start-up process quick and simple by using automatic adjustment of the relevant parameters as well as the application macros which automatically perform the necessary adaptation to the relevant machine. Using the PC based utility software, DriveWorksEZ, you can use block-oriented programming to easily incorporate individual switching and control tasks into the inverter drive.

Like all Yaskawa units, A1000 inverters are designed to operate continuously for ten years. This keeps necessary maintenance work to a minimum. The ability to apply preventive maintenance ensures these units do not have to be serviced at sea. Additionally, built in functionality such as the wear indicator signals a defect in the most important components early enough to effectively avoid a system failure with extended downtime. If an emergency does arise, Yaskawa has a worldwide service network that allows them to quickly arrive at your location.

Last but not least, the most important and most widely used fieldbuses – such as CANopen, DeviceNet, Profibus, CC-Link, MECHATROLINK-II and EtherCAT – are available for the A1000 option boards.

Inverter drives offer benefits in a wide range of application areas on ships, in ports, and in offshore systems. However, the devices that are used must meet specific requirements. The inverter drives of the A1000 series from Yaskawa meet these requirements to the full extent, which is verified by the certification that has been received from DNV GL.

 

Mersey Maritime

Inverters UK, a business of Goodwin Electronics are members of Mersey Maritime.  

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How does an inverter work?

An inverter when used in the context of motor speed control can also be known as a variable frequency drive (VFD). It essentially generates a varying frequency three phase AC voltage to effect a change in the speed of a motor. It achieves this by converting the incoming power supply into a DC voltage and then generating a three phase AC voltage from this DC supply. The development of electronics since the manufacture of the first semiconductors has seen the speed and processing power increase enormously which has made it possible to, not only digitally synthesise the required AC frequency for any given speed of the motor but to also analyse the motor current and rotor position.

Why is it called an inverter?

The term inverter only relates to the final part of the VFD's electronic architecture, the part that converts DC voltage to AC. There is no clear technical reason for the use of the term 'inverter' as it is generally believed to refer to the inversion of the early mechanical process of converting AC voltage to DC, sometimes referred to as an 'inverting converter'.

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