ABB is granted Approval in Principle for Onboard DC Grid concept by ABS

27 January, 2014 – Approval in principle confirms Onboard DC Grid’s suitability for marine application.

The new system supports the growth of electrical propulsion systems onboard ships.

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, was granted Approval in Principal (AIP) for the Onboard DC Grid power distribution system by classification society ABS. ABS (American Bureau of Shipping) is a leading classification society to the maritime industry and headquartered in Houston, USA.

Classification Societies are organizations within the maritime industry that establish and maintain technical standards for the construction and operation of ships and offshore structures, whose main focus is the safety of life at sea and protection of the environment.

AIP is a framework used by most classification societies to review and approve innovative and novel concepts not covered by traditional classification rules. In order to be granted the AIP, the Onboard DC Grid was subject to a series of risk assessment techniques to determine if the concept provides acceptable levels of safety in line with current marine industry practice, requirements and standards. The AIP now granted by ABS is a strong tool to support and streamline the design, approval, execution and inspection of new projects. Therefore, the benefits are extended to all parties involved on the shipbuilding process: designers, ship-owners, ship-yards and classification society.

“The implications and importance of AIP put ABB in a particularly advantageous position in the global marine market for the Onboard DC Grid solution. Our clients can feel comfortable that the solution can be applied to their next project and the basic concept acceptance and the clear path toward final classification approval for construction has been obtained. They become competitive now and will remain so for the next 20 years and beyond,” says Heikki Soljama, head of ABB’s Marine and Cranes Business Unit.

Both organizations acknowledge the fast growing importance of electrical systems on board ships, in particular electrical propulsion, and emphasize attention on the solutions addressed to the marine industry, sustain a recognized level of quality in terms of design, safety, reliability, environmental impact and efficiency.

With Onboard DC Grid, ABB has created one of the most flexible marine power and propulsion systems ever brought to market. The system allows generators to operate at variable speed which in turn offers up to 20% fuel savings over a conventional plant with significant space savings potential, improved dynamic response and reduced emissions. In addition, ABB’s solution enables supplementary DC energy sources including solar panels, fuel cells or batteries to be plugged directly into the ship’s DC electrical systems, creating scope for further fuel savings.

Platform Support Vessel (PSV) Dina Star, delivered to Norwegian offshore owner Myklebusthaug Offshore by Kleven Yard in [April 2013], is the first powered with ABB’s full Onboard DC grid system to provide fuel efficiency and lower emissions. Dina Star with its Onboard DC Grid technology was nominated for the 2013 Energy Efficiency award at Nor-shipping.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.
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ABB Media Relations:
Marine and Cranes
Julia Wei Cai
T. +47 2287 2736