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           ELECTRICAL SYSTEM          


Balmoral has an electrical system that was installed in 1949 and although perfectly suitable for her day, it now needs help from a modern generator that is currently installed at the rear of the top deck.

Her original system was supplied by a pair of 6 cylinder diesel Lister generating sets.  Balmoral is an all electric ship and apart from the actual propulsion, everything else depends on electricity, so the generators are equally as important as her main engines.  As built she had two main generators and a small emergency and standby unit in the steering flat at the stern.  All the ancillary equipment such as winches, capstans, ventilators and even the water pumps and sewage system are driven by electricity.

As originally supplied the ship had two 35kw units  - that's enough to boil about  20 kettles or run 20  13 amp fan heaters.  In 1949 that was well sufficient, but today we take electricity for granted and over the years a much greater load was installed in the ship and while the generators can handle this, there isn't much spare capacity.  For this reason a third independent unit was installed on the after deck.  This is a large generator and is capable of supplying the ship on its own, and in this way Balmoral can be sure the lights won't go out.

In addition, the ship has the facility to connect to the shore supply in the same way as a caravan can hook up to the mains, so when alongside it is environmentally better to rely on the domestic electricity supply than generate her own power.

For the technically minded, the main system for the original machinery is DC ( direct current ) and there is an inverter and separate AC ( alternating current) circuit for modern equipment.  The ship now uses LED lighting wherever possible to reduce the load on the generators. In harbour the security and some deck lights run on solar power.  The main switchboard is DC as originally installed but the domestic AC circuits are operated through an inverter.  When connected to the shore supply, the power is converted to DC and then back to AC for some circuits !
















All this power is connected to a switchboard which is completely original and fully functional.  It is still used to operate the ship's main systems and is a classic piece of marine engineering. 

 The main switchboard - it all works and is the main distribution centre for the ships power.


On the left is the traditional switchboard.  This isn't original and was salvaged from another ship to replace Balmoral's as it was in better condition. On the far left of the left hand photograph you can see the more modern 'AC' switching that controls the other part of the ships supply. There is another set of breakers not shown on the other side of the DC board that isolate individual circuits, together with shore power connectors and battery charging.




Meet 'Nellie' ... this is the modern generator on the rear of the main deck that can supplement the ships original generators .... it has a Cummins 6 cylinder diesel and can produce more power than the two engine room units and the emergency generator together!




 ..... and here is the emergency generator right at the stern of the ship in the 'steering flat' that would power the emergency and navigation lights and basic services when the ship was in port and off service with no shore supply. A twin cylinder Lister diesel of 1970's vintage.



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