With 70 years of experience, Ward’s Marine Electric’s diversity of services spans electrical installation, modifications, refit and repair, as well the sales of all types of tools and equipment needed to perform an electrical refit. Understanding the complexities involved with electrical upgrades on board, the company specialises in its ability to find a balance between technology and efficiency.
“The most common variables in the discussion of every refit project are time and location,” advises Kristina Hebert, COO at Ward's Marine Electric. “If the time period was without limits, the refit market could and would be twice the size it is today. There are so many talented contractors and yards that, without the limitation of time, their work would be a masterpiece. In reality, the time period allotted is always too short for the required work list.”
With owners wanting to maximise the use of their yachts, however, it is understandable that the time allocated to refit and maintenance periods is constrained. This is why Ward’s Marine Electric has developed a switchboard automation system for power management on board that accommodates the variables of time and location involved in a refit, while fulfilling requirements set out by classification societies.
Many older superyachts are in desperate need of an upgrade to their automation and how the power is distributed on board, but the perception that such works are extensive and time consuming often leads to delays in having the work carried out. “Seamless transfer to shore power, load sharing and paralleling generators are just a few examples of the way in which power management has been automated on superyachts over the last decade,” Hebert adds. “Unfortunately, many associate this type of work with a major six-month refit project and modification to the hull structure.”
With its switchboard automation system, Ward’s Marine Electric’s goal is to update the technology on board in an efficient way, while maintaining the pedigree of the vessel’s control room. The system is designed to be a full replacement of the yacht’s current automation system (including PLC-based systems), and offers additional capabilities such as load balancing, run time management, load shedding, remote access and SMS alerts.
“The entire switchboard does not have to be removed and much of the work is prefabricated in our shop and installed on board,” Hebert explains. The doors are then updated, painted, and new overlays are fitted to give the switchboard a finished look in keeping with the original style of the vessel. All works can be performed in-situ in about half the time of a full switchboard replacement project.”
The integrity of a superyacht’s electrical system is the most important element to a safe and enjoyable vessel – the galley, AV/IT, navigation, water purification and heating, air conditioning and stabilisation, to name a few, are all dependent upon a stable, safe and robust electrical system. With its switchboard automation system, Ward’s Marine Electric wants to make it quicker and easier for superyachts to have a power management system that is optimised with the latest automated technology.
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