Vessel testing: Leading specialist in the construction and repair of vessels in the offshore area, Estaleiro Navship, commissioned Crestchic to complete futureproof upgrades to its load bank control system, replacing all elements and installing new insulated elements plates.

A team of two Crestchic load bank experts, travelled to the 124,000 sq. ft facility in Brazil to complete the work over one and a half weeks.

Ben Woodward, Senior Service Engineer, commented on the project: “Navship has a reputation for efficiency in shipbuilding, and a critical part of that process is using load banks to test the onboard power system of its new vessels. Navship was using an older load bank control system that, due to advancements in microprocessor technology, was becoming difficult to repair and maintain.

“To prevent downtime due to component failure or parts becoming obsolete, Navship commissioned the futureproofing of their load bank control system with Crestchic’s Nova controller technology.”

The role of load banks in shipbuilding

Class-leading vessels are now designed all-electric, with a single power network supplied by a primary energy source, which can be multiple units of diesel or gas turbines.

With an integrated power system like this, propulsion power can be diverted to serve on-ship requirements including refrigeration on cargo vessels, light, heating and air-conditioning on cruise liners and weapons systems on naval ships.

During the build and commissioning phases, it is vital that shipbuilders like Navship can simulate and test (vessel testing) these different loads and the way they interact with each other, to ensure the ship is finished to the highest performance standards. To do this, engineers use containerised load banks that are highly specialised and tailored to meet the demanding shipyard and marine environment.

Improving load bank performance for Navship

Part of the Chouest Group of companies, Navship launched its first vessel in 2006, and has since established itself has a leading example of efficiency in shipbuilding.

Located in Navegantes, Brazil, the expansive facility features an indoor erection building with 14 overhead cranes allowing vessels to be built out of the weather to reduce man-hours and increase quality. Navship’s new floating drydock allows engineers to perform additional inspections and repairs to meet the requirements of its rapidly growing Brazilian fleet.

Rodrigo Scarelli, Deputy Production Coordinator at Navship explained why the load bank controller upgrade was so important: “Load bank testing is an essential step in our highly efficient shipbuilding process. It allows us to accurately and safely test the operation of the vessel in accordance with the most stringent performance guidelines.

“Our fleet is growing quickly, and we needed access to additional test reporting and information, plus the ability to improve the quality standards of our load bank testing in line with the latest requirements. Crestchic’s Nova controller technology allowed us to achieve these objectives and guaranteed the reliability of our load bank equipment for the future.

“With such an efficient shipbuilding process, Navship is dedicated to installing the latest technologies that uphold its vessel construction and commissioning processes. Maintaining uptime in our Navegantes facility is critical, so moving away from legacy equipment that is becoming obsolete is an essential investment.”

Crestchic Nova load bank controller technology
Microprocessor technology is constantly evolving, making components for older hardware increasingly more difficult to source. This, combined with advancements in software functionality were the reasons Crestchic innovated its Nova controller technology.

Designed using the latest microprocessor technology, paired with Orion control system software, this futureproof solution prevents downtime due to component failure or obsolescence.

Engineers are able to operate individual or multiple load banks from a single controller and extend the system to control up to 15 load banks with proportional load-sharing. The high-speed fibre optic control cabling makes the system operable over a much greater distance and the load-step synchronisation mechanism produces clean load switching, both within a single load bank and across multiple units. For the marine sector in particular, the Nova controller with Orion software offers motor test facilities.

Importantly, once upgraded, load banks using the Nova system are compatible with all new build Crestchic products, to offer scalability to growing businesses.

The Orion control system features a large operating interface display, allowing data and frequency response curves to be displayed clearly. Advanced features of the control system can be easily accessed such as graphical display of transient performance at load change, recording of instrumentation data and storage of multi-user-defined load profiles. The Nova AC load bank control system is designed for use in resistive/reactive or resistive-only operations.

vessel testing team load bank30 years’ experience serving the shipbuilding sector vessel testing
Upgrading Navship’s load bank control system, including all elements and elements plates is the latest example of Crestchic’s expertise in the shipbuilding sector. With more than 30 years’ experience in the testing and commissioning of marine generators, from small ferries to super tankers, from conventional engines with propeller shafts to multi-unit all-electric ships, Crestchic’s highly specialised marine and shipyard load banks are widely used for the testing of gensets, gas turbines, UPS and DC systems.

For more information on how Crestchic futureproofs load banks for the shipbuilder vessel testing market, call +44 (0)1283 531 645 or compete the contact form online.