Modular cable feed system from igus for safe shore power supply

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In order to reduce the CO2, NOx, SOx and fine-particle emissions from the ship’s engines while docked in port, more and more energy supplies are being provided directly from the shore. To manage these cables safely, igus has developed an alternative to traditional cable feed systems, the e-chain dispenser, which has already been successfully installed near Bergen, Norway.

Modular cable feed system from igus for safe shore power supplyJustin Leonard, the-chain director, igus says: “Depending on the type of ship, the requirements for the cable feed system in the port can differ. For ferries, for example, shore power is usually supplied with a cable dispenser. This is a large, permanently installed crane, which allows one or several multi-conductor cables to be extended and connected with a plug. The extended cable is unprotected and is heavily loaded during the connection due to the movements of tides, as well as during loading and unloading of the ship.”

A modular and compact system, the new e-chain dispenser is fixed to mooring points in the harbour and has an extendable swing arm that bridges the distance to the ship. This allows the crew to connect the shore power easily to the vessel. The arm movement and the extension of the energy chain of 10m or more, is carried out by electric drives. These can be controlled via a control panel on land or alternatively with a remote control on-board.

The e-chain dispenser consists of three components: the readychain, the e-chain magazine and the carrier structure. The readychain is a triflex multi-axis energy chain made of a corrosion-free, high-performance polymer material, and is filled with pre-fabricated cables fed by the e-chain magazine module. The triflex e-chain protects the highly flexible chainflex cables in multi-dimensional movements, ensures compliance with a minimum bending radius and comes complete with strain relief.

Depending on the requirements, the energy chain can be equipped with single conductors for medium or low-voltage power feeds. These are not only more cost-effective than multi-conductor cables, but have also been specially developed for use in energy chains. As an option, igus offers 403 cables with the DNV-GL certification for use in the e-chain dispenser.

All chainflex cables are tested in-house at the 2750 m2 test laboratory. igus is the only provider worldwide to guarantee a warranty of 36 months on its chainflex cables. The compact shore power e-chain system fulfils the requirements of the international standard IEC 80005. In addition to the signals for alarm and disconnection of the power supply, the e-chain dispenser can also be supplied with pull and length monitoring capabilities.

For more information about the e-chain dispenser from igus, please visit

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