Welcome to our course on Electrical Control Systems

Here you’ll learn how to troubleshoot the most common electrical problems onboard superyachts. Let’s get started!

Course Description

This course was designed, written and refined over a number of years as I worked alongside some of the best superyacht engineers in the industry on the vessels they were charged with the care of. I could not help but sometimes notice gaps in their knowledge by the questions they asked me on board.

If that’s you, or you’re just starting out in the industry, and your normal training (by other means) has left you less confident than you’d like to be about electrical circuits and control systems on board, where would you obtain better training to help you troubleshoot these issues?

That is the point of this course, first launched in the classroom in 2018 and now in this on-line version.

We start simple with basic electricity and circuits (which was found necessary for a surprising number of engineers, but there is no downside to wanting to learn and improve!) and then work up to more complex systems such as generators and drives, ending with PLCs.

Go at your own pace, and go back over material as you need to.

Welcome aboard!

What's Included?

  1. The most basic circuit – why doesn’t it work?
  2. Discovery and noticing the right things
  3. What is electricity and what is an electron?
  4. Relationship of electrons to photons
  5. The four forces of the universe
  6. What about magnets?
  7. Basic units in the SI system: charge, force, work, power, emf,  
  8. First block diagrams, schematics and symbols
  9. Richard Feynman on electricity
  10. Your first module test
  1. Essential kit for €200 or less
  2. Understanding the other ranges on the DMM
  3. Diode testing
  4. Auto-ranging vs manual ranging meters
  5. About measuring current
  6. Extra and special tools, including thermal imaging
  7. The DC clamp meter does so much more
  8. AC circuit readings
  9. The power audit
  10. Hands on videos of the tools covered in this course
  1. Be very curious about current
  2. What to measure in a circuit and why?
  3. OHM’s circle and more
  4. What do (too many) Watts look like?
  5. Series and parallel circuits
  6. Equivalence between real voltage (Thevenin) and real current (Norton) sources
  7. Practical – introduction to Didactic #01
  8. Kirchoff’s current and voltage laws – simple but essential
  9. Introduction to the concept of superposition
  10. Hands-on guided video practical, which you can work along with (no equipment required)
  1. Basically, two types of chemistry on board: Lead Acid and Li-Ion
  2. Variants on lead acid battery construction
  3. Battery capacity comparisons and economics
  4. 12V vs 24VDC
  5. Capacity ‘C’
  6. Chargers
  7. Inverters – video explanations of principles of operation
  8. The combi
  9. Hybrid concepts and peak shaving
  10. Advanced power management system (PMS)
  1. Elements of a distributed control system (DCS)
  2. Computers: micro through to PLCs
  3. Communications standards
  4. Sensors
  5. Actuators
  6. Safety criticality considerations
  7. Backup systems
  8. NMEA2000 and PGNs
  9. Actuator Sensor Interface (ASi) usage
  10. Comparisons of different power systems: Mechanical, Electrical, Pneumatic, Hydraulic
  1. Power generation
  2. Protection and discrimination
  3. Current and time
  4. Shore power hook-ups (16A – 250A capacities)
  5. Transformer vs Shore Power Converter
  6. Corrosion prevention
  7. The ‘Single line diagram’
  8. Generator introduction – multiple generator paralleling
  9. Protection, guarding and current measurement
  10. Practical – build a seawater battery to understand anode protection and galvanic isolators
  1. Hydraulic systems control the largest mechanical loads on board
  2. The role of electronic controls behind hydraulic systems
  3. Mechanical-electrical analogies with ‘Across’ and ‘through’ quantities
  4. Reading hydraulic diagrams and symbols (recommended reading)
  5. Passarelle system – complete self-contained hydraulic control system
  6. Harken Hydraulics METS show review; every increasing pressures
  7. Captive winches
  8. PTOs and power packs
  9. Overloading
  10. The essential role of good filtration
  1. 3 phase generation – a reminder and inspiration
  2. Fleming left- and right-hand rule
  3. AC motor – beautiful simplicity, but fixed speed
  4. Elements of a drive: conversion, voltage control, inversion, filtering
  5. How do we invert from DC to AC? – PWM methods
  6. Harmonics?
  7. Do you need a variable speed drive?
  8. Three other motor starting methods
  9. Motor losses
  10. Motor controls cost-benefit comparisons
  1. Generator safe operation
  2. Prevention of overloads and instability
  3. PTO (massive loading possible)
  4. Elements of generator electronic controls
  5. Spread throughout
  6. Guarding
  7. Protection
  8. Power management systems (PMS)
  9. Improving performance
  10. Practical videos: synchronisation, load sharing, reverse power dangers
  1. Identifying sensor types on board
  2. Thermocouples
  3. Thermistor sensors, different
  4. Pressure sensors
  5. Level sensors – the many types
  6. Limit & proximity sensors
  7. Load sensors
  8. How to convert?
  9. 4-20mA loop advantages
  10. Calibration methods
  1. Introduction to Alarm & Monitoring Systems
  2. Network Choices
  3. Cabling choices
  4. Inputs – data acquisition
  5. Defining channels
  6. Graphical display representations
  7. Calibration of sensors
  8. *Outputs, why to use caution
  9. Resilience and redundancy
  10. Beware PCs
  1. Scaling the right PLC
  2. ‘Smart relays’
  3. Expanded centralised PLCs
  4. Large scale, distributed PLCs
  5. Inputs & Outputs
  6. Programming standards: 5 methods, but mainly Function Blocks and Ladder Logic
  7. Basic logic and timers
  8. More complex functions and communications
  9. Safety considerations
  10. Practical session: Didactic #02 where you can follow and learn and start to program using simple drag and drop function block approach a real PLC

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