Since October 1999 DCMT has been working with Alabama Shipyards as the electrical design agent for the construction of a 370-ft Casino Boat the “Miss Belterra”. DCMT’s task has been to develop the original design provided by Robert E. Lay and Associates in line with the latest regulatory body requirements and the shipyard construction program. DCMT prepared the electrical installation drawings, equipment purchase and electrical installation contract specifications and assisted the yard to evaluate and select the installation electrical contractor.
DCMT also undertook various studies including an updated load analysis, short-circuit current analysis, protection co-ordination, harmonic and failure modes and effects analyses. When electrical construction work became prominent, DCMT moved their Project Engineer Mr. Thanh Son Pham into the Alabama Shipyard as the construction co-ordinator between DCMT, the shipyard and the electrical installation contractor. The vessel is scheduled to complete in July 2000.
The major issue was the introduction by USCG 46 CFR 111.30-24 to require the “split-bus” configuration. Although principally a regulatory requirement, the introduction of a split main switchboard bus provides added advantages to the Casino boat owner, particularly when:
- The vessel must be in continuous operation
- Prolonged disruption to service due to equipment malfunction might be unacceptable, particularly the casino gaming equipment.
- Regular schedule shutdown for maintenance must be carried out with minimum disruption to the vessel gaming operation.
With the introduction of a split bus, duplicate supplies can be arranged to the important services such as casino machines, HVAC and lighting. Consequently the potential risk of loosing the entire operation due to a single equipment failure is removed. Furthermore, the operation can continue during scheduled maintenance.