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#171386 - 11/26/07 09:51 PM Marine Shipboard wiring
sparkyinak Online   content
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Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1307
Loc: Alaska
I have been looking for the history of switching the neutral at each breaker. Although in most cases, it is not required per IEEE 45, USCG Title 45, and ABS just to name a few, I come across this in older steel vessels. I think it is a relic from the ol' ungrounded days. This would explain I see this in older ships that have been since retrofitted with grounded systems but kept the origional distribution system due to the expense. Can anyone shed actual knowledge on the history?
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#171394 - 11/27/07 03:58 AM Re: Marine Shipboard wiring [Re: sparkyinak]
SteveFehr Offline
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Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 1195
Loc: Chesapeake, VA
Naval ships don't use neutrals, but use 110/63V floating delta, where both terminals in receptacles are hot. The only time the neutral terminals are actually grounded is when fed via isolation transformers or isolated UPS, but that's restricted to very particular applications and done at the equipment, not the panel. This method of distribution lowers the voltage potential (which is important when considering damage control while flooded with saltwater) and increases fault tolerance- you can short out a phase to ground and the system will still work. There are, of course, no ground wires, just bonding to the ship's hull.

So, what you see are 3-phase panels with all "1-phase" circuits fed from 2-pole breakers and ungrounded cables.


Edited by SteveFehr (11/27/07 03:59 AM)
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#171401 - 11/27/07 07:55 AM Re: Marine Shipboard wiring [Re: SteveFehr]
gfretwell Offline


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Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9039
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
They also have 440 delta for the bigger loads.
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#171415 - 11/27/07 02:20 PM Re: Marine Shipboard wiring [Re: gfretwell]
sparkyinak Online   content
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Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1307
Loc: Alaska
I am not talking about navel ships but other steel marine vessels. Their AC systems are required to be grounded. Most of the older steel vessels I have encountered are breaking the nuetral at the breaker. All applicable standards state that this is optional, not a requirement. I understand in general why the Navy does what it does but it is not applicable to civilian application
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