Global Transport Industry benefits from a new VSD System


Energy saving and CO2 reduction is still a major factor in industry with fuel costs continuing to rise and the demand for cleaner energy forever becoming a more important issue.

This can also be said for the global transport industry with cars, trains, aeroplanes and other forms of transport under scrutiny to become greener, more efficient and cost effective to operate and run.

The shipping industry is maybe one of the least thought of but it is responsible for 90% of the world’s goods transportation and also remains a popular form of travel for holiday makers.

Whilst at sea the ship will run on its own diesel powered engines, with on board voltages at anything between 440V to 690V and a frequency of 60Hz generated. One thing all vessels will have in common is a need to dock at harbours for loading, unloading and in some cases lengthy maintenance and repair work. It is from this requirement that Quantum Controls have identified harbour areas as a prime candidate for significant emission reductions within this industry. Port authorities, ship owners, industry suppliers and regulators are now looking at alternative, cleaner options to produce shore to ship power and Quantum Control has an option that fits.

Historically, the on board power required for a ship has been produced either by it’s own on board generation system or on shore diesel powered temporary generator sets, why is this an issue?

Several reasons why –

  • Diesel fuel consumption to create KW power is costly
  • Noise, ports have restrictions on engine noise levels
  • Emissions, more local air pollution
  • Space, temporary generators can take up a lot of port space


Quantum Control is renowned for its extensive range of variable speed drives and associated equipment that is available for short term hire or long term lease. The equipment lends itself ideally to this type of shore to ship power requirement application with its flexibility and the widest range of power options available within the UK.

How does this work?

Quantum Controls variable speed drive option allows on shore generated power at 415V, 50Hz to be converted into a voltage and frequency suitable for on board ship supply, as an example 690V at 60Hz. The out put mains voltage from the VSD system is regulated so the out put voltage remains fixed independent of the load peaks and troughs.

As an example, a typical power line diagram is as follows–

Mains Supply 400V/3/50Hz → VSD unit with 400V input / 400V, 60Hz Out Put → Sine Filtered Out Put

→ 400V / 690V Step up Transformer → 690V / 3 phase / 60Hz supply to ship supply switchboard


What are the benefits of this VSD system?

  • Less expensive to take the electricity from the grid rather than diesel generated
  • Less noise, ports have restrictions on engine noise levels, there is no increased noise levels using this system meaning more ships can be worked on or docked in the port / harbour
  • Emissions, only from the grid, no local air pollution from this system
  • Space, typically can be supplied in only a 10ft or 20 ft container
  • Carbon neutral, what if the port generated power is green, such as wind or wave powered then the VSD offers a carbon neutral system
  • Flexibility, can be supplied to suit the ship application and adjusted accordingly
  • Only need to hire / lease for the time requirements needed
  • More cost effective than hiring diesel generator sets

Quantum shore to ship Variable Speed Drives can be hired in sizes of 10kVA to 2000kVA in an indoors type of enclosure for installation in a substation or power distribution room. We can also supply the shore to ship power converters in an all-weather outdoor enclosure for installing on the dockside or mooring berth.

Quantum are the only company in Europe who can offer Variable Speed Drives for hire / rent form 5.5kW up to containerized 1500Kw ratings.

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