Environmental awareness at the port

Air pollution in ports is often due to ships burning marine fuels to generate power. For this reason, the Port of Hamburg relies on Siharbor from Siemens. With the shore connection system, which is currently the largest in Europe, ships can draw the power they need from the mainland and shut down their generators. 

The boom in the cruise ship industry is set to continue. Hamburg is one of the most popular destinations for cruise tourists. To keep the air clean in the Port of Hamburg, the Hamburg Senate and Parliament ordered the construction of an shore connection system at the Altona cruise terminal for the onshore power supply of ships.


Ships also need power for their on-board equipment, operations, and HVAC systems when berthed. They usually generate their electrical power by means of diesel generators, which then continue to run when the ship is in the port. However, this creates large amounts of CO2, NOx, and dangerous particulate matter.


Port operators, who want to reduce air and noise pollution, can use the Siharbor shore connection system. This means that on-board diesel generators are no longer required. Thus, Siharbor offers many benefits not only for the port operator but also for the shipowner, local residents, and port personnel.  

Safe and easy operation

To prevent a flashover in the plug-in connector, the supply cable leading to the ship is always tested at the nominal voltage at low power before the actual power supply is connected. A higher-level Simatic S7 controller with an operating panel monitors the status of the system, enabling all relevant messages and data to be displayed and all operating and safety functions to be selected. The controller ensures that only switching operations in accordance with IEC/ISO/IEEE 80005 are performed. 


Both on land and on board, the operators that connect the ship are protected by a double electrical interlocking system. This protective function is safeguarded by both the software and hardware independently of one another. The entire shore connection system can be controlled remotely from the ship, so additional qualified personnel are not required. 

Everything from a single source

If required, Siharbor can be provided as a turnkey solution, which covers all stages from planning to system integration (including all LV and MV products as well as switchgear for connection to the network), commissioning, and service. The system can be installed in a container or in existing buildings.


Thanks to its modular design, the system can be optimally adapted to any required performance classes, voltages, and frequencies. With Siharbor, the ship network is electrically isolated from the onshore network and other ship networks by means of an isolating transformer.

Compact high-efficiency converter solution

Siplink  is a converter system that has been adapted for network applications. It can connect two or more medium-voltage AC networks with different voltages, phase angles, and frequencies. With Siplink, transformer switching processes and changes in the output voltage of the converter adjust the voltage so that the required transfer voltage to the ship can be achieved. 


The system features a frequency converter, the controller, and the HMI (Human Machine Interface). The perfectly coordinated components provide an efficient solution for ports and ships.

Based on Sinamics

The Siplink system is based on the comprehensive Sinamics converter family. As a result of the M2C topology, the Sinamics SM120 CM medium-voltage converter provides a sinusoidal voltage waveform in several small stages. The output current can thereby achieve a perfect sinusoidal wave that does not require further filtering. 


The modular Sinamics SM120 CM medium-voltage converter is a modular system for specialized applications. A wide range of integrated components and functions enables project-specific solutions to be customized. 


With a multi-level active line module, the Sinamics SM120 CM (cabinet module) ensures high current quality when feeding energy into the power grid.¬ Apart from onshore power supply, the converter is also used in test benches and applications in the marine, energy, mining, and steel industries, among others. 


The modular Sinamics SM120 CM system combines proven topologies, which have been deployed successfully for many years. 


Picture credits: Siemens AG

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