Environmental pollution and greenhouse gases (GHG’s) caused by ships have led to stricter emission regulations and fuel economy standards. The need for more efficient ships results in increased pressure for improved efficiency of all energy subsystems aboard. Moreover, the extensive electrification of ship systems, including propulsion systems, has become a most appealing alternative; the more electrified a ship is (All Electric Ship concept), the greener and more efficient it becomes. This widespread electrification of ship systems introduces novel concepts, with a favourable one being the introduction of Direct Current (DC) aboard, especially in the power distribution subsystem. It is noted that research on the introduction of DC has recently been initiated in USA, but with a heavy focus on military vessels. With the exception of a few specific ship types, research dedicated to commercial ships has hardly begun, while commercial shipping is the backbone of surface transportation throughout the Globe and of particular interest for the Hellenic National Economy.
Hence, the present “DC-Ship” proposal, comprising 8 work-packages, aims at investigating important design and operation aspects of DC power systems, via theoretical analyses, simulations and experiments. Furthermore, in the proposed work, the behaviour of DC systems will be compared to that of AC ones, via tests of actual grid emulators (using an existing AC one, as well as a DC one, which is to be procured in the course of “DC-Ship”). Moreover, the impact of DC on fuel economy and emissions reduction will be assessed. Finally, Life Cycle Cost analysis for a DC-operated ship will be performed. The conclusions drawn will be formulated in a way, that can be integrated into the Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) set by IMO. Dissemination of results includes webpage creation, workshop organization, evening presentations, and participation in the “Posidonia” Exhibition.