DC Power Chosen for New Cruise Ship Construction

Scientists and engineers continue to find new ways to employ Direct Current (DC) power. According to an article on Forbes.com, a new 5,000-ton ship, which is due for completion in early 2013, will transfer power from the propulsion system using DC instead of the traditional AC (Alternating Current), eliminating the need for converters. The builders stated that a ship with a DC grid can cut power consumption by up to 20 percent. Most of the devices aboard ship—including appliances, computers, motors, and sensors—natively run on DC. The ship will be built by Swiss-Swedish company ABB, which will collaborate with Myklebusthaug Management. It will be designed to haul equipment and construction supplies for oil companies to offshore platforms. The article also talks about using DC power in buildings to cut consumption, and specifically mentions Nextek Power Systems, Inc. and the E-Merge Alliance. The switch to DC is another step in the ongoing comeback of Direct Current power delivery. DC was the power of choice of Thomas Edison in the late 1800s, however, due to a lack of transmission technology it became less popular than AC.