50-60Hz Conversion
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Monday, January 26, 2015

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50-60Hz Conversion


The MV "Vladimir Vaslyaev" was delivered to the Black Sea Shipping Company in 1987 as a "roll-on, roll off" (RoRo) container ship. In 1996 DC Maritime Technologies Inc. (DCMT) was retained by Kvaerner Masa Marine Inc., and Ocean Marine Navigation Company both of Annapolis MD to review the ship’s electrical system with a view to changing it to 60 Hz based on North American commercial ship practice. The ship is to be lengthened, fitted with new cargo hold, garage and accommodations and upgraded to the latest SOLAS, ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) USCG (United States Coast Guard) requirements. The ship is renamed the "LCPL Roy M. Wheat" and will be applied as a "pre-positioning" vessel for the United States Military Sealift Command.
DCMT’s objective was to retain as much of the existing equipment as possible. An electrical conversion implementation plan (CIP) was designed to review all on board systems and to determine the minimum changes necessary for the new voltage and frequency.
The CIP included a review of the ship’s electrical diagrams, followed by on-board observations and tests under actual operating conditions. Equipment was classified for retention replacement, for whatever reason (e.g. non-supportable, unsuitable for 60Hz operation, non-functioning etc.) A test program was implemented and equipment performance at the new voltage and frequency recorded. Documentation was reviewed and original equipment manufacturers contacted for advice. The CIP will culminate with a full set of electrical diagrams describing the full system modifications. Onboard tests will confirm performance.
A major problem in the CIP was obtaining equipment data. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, many factories have closed down and information lost.
The complete conversion requires the electrical generation system to be upgraded 6 MW. The main design decisions included changing the system configuration in line with North American commercial practice, choice of the new system voltage, identification all frequency and voltage sensitive components, upgrade and replacement of the protection systems for compatibility with North American practice, an upgrade of the lighting installation and extensive retention of the existing cables. David Clark P.Eng
DC Maritime Technologies Inc.


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