Although aluminum's low conductivity means thicker cables are needed, its overall lower weight can be compensated for. For example, a typical Marine ship might need to install 60 tons of copper cables. If you replace it with aluminum, the weight will be reduced to 30 tons. But even taking into account the price of special high-quality terminals, the overall cost of replacing copper with aluminium is estimated to be 50 per cent less. Lighter cables make it easier for shipyards to install and reduce shipping costs. Finally, ships with aluminium rather than copper cables are lighter and more fuel-efficient, reducing operating costs.
The use of aluminium cables has been tested over the past three years on a multifunctional ship called Olympic Artemis, owned by Bibby Offshore and managed by Olympic Offshore. These cables are used to power one of the ship's thrusters.
Recently, DNV GL experts and representatives from Amo Specialkabel AB, a manufacturer of cables from Amo Specialkabel, used thermal cameras to inspect aluminium cables from the Olympic Artemis ship. "Amo Specialkabel's ambition is to be a market leader in innovative environmental technology solutions in today's maritime market," says Urban Sandberg, Amokabel's technology manager.
The relevant inspection confirmed that the cable was in good condition after more than 11,000 hours of operation, and DNV GL issued the type approval certificate accordingly.
DNV GL maritime department, senior vice President, classification and technical director, Geir Dugstad said: "the type approval represents another DNV GL specification first, shows that we are committed to promoting class services to help customers". "Electrification is playing an increasingly important role in ship propulsion, and this new type of recognition helps reduce costs and improve sustainability.