Astrol 1kV solid state DC breaker switch for marine applications receives DNV-GL type approval

In collaboration with KWx, Astrol Electronic AG developed a solid-state 1kV DC breaker switch for marine applications. This unique technology provides maximum flexibility for onboard DC grids and protects against short-circuit currents in any part of the grid. Both companies proudly announce the DNV-GL type approval of the 0.5kA and 1.25kA DC breaker switches.

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On Friday November 22 Mr. Paul De Niet -Senior Surveyor at DNV-GL- officially handed over the certificate to Andy Stöckli -Technical Director at Astrol Electronic- and Peter van den Berg -sales consultant at KWx-.

The importance of protecting the onboard DC grid

The electrification and increasing power requirements of marine applications are expanding as new and refurbished vessels are expected to support larger electrical systems, capable of integrating alternative energy sources and storage systems. DC links are extremely suitable for these applications, however safety remains an issue. Proper protection against short-circuit currents is of essential importance and at the same time the most challenging part for system integrators.

DC breaker switches for marine applications

Based on many years of experience in the manufacturing of high-power solid-state switches for different applications and after consulting various capable engineers working in the Dutch maritime industry, Astrol Electronic developed a series of DC breaker switches for the marine industry. These ultra-fast DC breaker switches protect the onboard DC grids against short circuit currents in any part of the grid, enabling much more efficient topologies.

Maximize vessel and system up-time while minimizing maintenance costs
The DC breaker switch technology ensures maximum safety onboard , while reducing the total cost of ownership by preventing losses from system down-time, ship down-time, critical component failure and maintenance costs. The modular design enables easy integration within existing applications. Last but not least, this solution is future proof since the largest models of the DC breaker series are capable of handling up to 5kA. Certification for the largest versions by DNV-GL is planned in 2020.

Safe and redundant closed bus operations

Traditional (DP) marine energy systems are designed for open bus mode. Meaning these systems operate completely separately. This specific design is less efficient, but necessary for safety reasons. A closed bus system is a more complex and tightly integrated system and is demanding to build and operate safely. The DC breaker switch enables these smarter solutions with equivalent safety, contributing to fuel savings, lower maintenance costs and a reduction of the environmental footprint. The fast switch-off times of the DNV-GL approved DC breaker switch enable an easier validation of the selectivity zones in connected systems. This also applies to fault tolerance and live short-circuit testing of worst-case failure modes.
A breakthrough in enabling a greener and safer maritime future.