Watts Marine now supports ten customized shore power installations in seven ports across Canada and the United States.
The company’s patented custom shore power system is made up of proprietary equipment specifically designed for cruise ships, having started by working with Princess Cruises in 2005 at the Port of Seattle.
“Within the footprint of our system, there is a lot of high-voltage equipment that you would find in a traditional substation, and so the monitoring and protection side is very similar to what utilities install,” said Mike Watts, Principal of Watts Marine.
Because ships have varying loads, the substation must adjust and change its monitoring points to match each ship’s power needs. Customized solutions are required to address key variables such as voltage, loads and secondary voltage, according to the company.
“With cruise ships, we are plugging into different power requirements that can be anywhere from four to twelve megawatts,” said Watts. “In addition, the ships operate on either 6.6 KV or 11 KV voltage classes. We needed a solution that would work with different load profiles.
After initially meeting at a trade show in 2008, the company selected NovaTech Automation, a Pennsylvania-based provider of the industry-leading Orion automation systems, to provide the remote monitoring and reporting capabilities required for their shore-to-ship power solution.
“At the time, we only had two systems installed but it was still important for us to monitor everything at each location remotely,” added Watts, adding that at the home office there is the ability to see all their systems’ status in a single line item.