igus, Inc.
igus iMSPO shore power chain

igus Brings Shore Power to U.S. Ports

Jan. 22, 2023
Revolutionary mobile system, iMSPO, includes an e-chain and specialized cables.

The readychain iMSPO, a revolutionary mobile shore power source, is now available in the United States. Motion plastics specialist igus presented the technology at the September PORTS '22 conference in Honolulu, Hawaii. The iMSPO (igus Mobile Shore Power Outlet) is a self-propelled socket for the shore power connection of container strips.

Based on its core competence in energy supply systems with its e-chain cable carriers, igus has developed a movable socket that travels along the quay over hundreds of meters precisely to the respective connection position of the ship.

Reducing Emissions

When ships at berth obtain their electricity with diesel generators, the demand is immense, similar to that of a small town. The generators also emit CO2, as well as fine dust, nitrogen, and sulfur oxides.

Shore power can be used by ships to connect to the local power grid. Auxiliary engines can then be switched off while in port. This allows power for lighting or air conditioning, or other electronic equipment on board for the crew to draw from the local power grid. Shore power thus serves to reduce emissions from auxiliary engines at berth.

The advantage of shore power technology is that there is an internationally recognized standard, and pilot systems are already operating successfully.

Inflation Reduction Act of 2022

In August 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill included over $3 billion to install zero-emission technology and equipment to reduce emissions at ports, as well as funding for ports seeking to purchase alternative-fueled cargo-handling equipment, shore power systems, and more.

Port of Hamburg Takes the First Step

The Port of Hamburg decided to take the first step and install the world's first mobile connection systems for container ships. In addition to the technical challenges of power supply, such as the correct voltage and frequency, another problem must be solved for the future-proof operation of a shore power system—the connection dilemma.

 A container terminal is a carefully timed operation with constantly changing ships of different sizes and berthing positions. This means that the connection points continually vary as there is no fixed place where the vessel can be "plugged in." The Port of Hamburg, therefore, relies on the movable connection systems from igus.

The iMSPO system is a solution to this connection problem. The combination of igus roller e-chain and special chainflex medium-voltage cables enables the system to travel within a range of up to 400 meters (which corresponds to the length of the largest container ships).

Due to the small bending radii of the chainflex cables, the system can be designed compactly and mounted in a space-saving manner. The mobile socket is moved along the quay to exactly where the ship's connection point is located, regardless of the ship's length. The ship cables only have to be lowered and connected to the movable socket. The iMSPO is conveniently operated with remote control.

To learn more about iMSPO, click here: shorepower.igus.com

About the Author

Michael Rielly | Public Relations and Marketing Communications Manager, igus

Michael Rielly is the Public Relations and Marketing Communications Manager for igus.