Pompey News: "Concern Over Portsmouth Power Supply Ahead Of Warships Arrival"


War Hero

"The leader of Portsmouth City Council has called for a meeting with the government’s energy secretary over concerns about the city’s increased energy demands.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson has written to Ed Davey with his fears the electrical distribution network will not be able to cope with the immense power demands of two new aircraft carriers which are due to arrive at the naval base later this decade.

He said the city has a limit of 90 mega volt ampere, and at peak times demand already reaches 86MVA even without the new warships."

Concern over Portsmouth power supply ahead of warships arrival - Portsmouth News


Lantern Swinger
It's not just the supply to the yard, it's the cables transformers etc within the yard itself.
The problems we had with Daring when she first arrived were bad enough!
Dont know what will be involved in Carrier Village when that gets built, but IMOA a power plant of some description is probably a good way ahead if they can do it


War Hero
Building of a power plant within the dockyard has been talked about for a few years now.

Yeah but pusser won't do it until they have tripped the entire south east out.
Even then it will be a 3 year consultation.
2 years putting it out to tender.
18 months of construction
1 year of delays
At the end it still won't work and the carrier will just have to power itself alongside.
Once again amazing forward planning by the shiny-arsed brigade. They will be a nice static visual attraction for people driving over the M275.

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Book Reviewer
Somewhat bemused by this - so why when say IFOS occurred and we had dozens of visiting warships and our own( 2 x CVS?) alongside did we get any issues?

Now we are operating at an all time low of ships in the dockyard, plus they're mostly operating at minimum capacity I don't see how that will reach even the consumption levels we had, say, 8 years ago.

As for the wider city, its so congested I don't see how its consumption could have risen that much either?


Lantern Swinger
WD there are a number of factors that make power consumption onboard newer ships higher than Carriers were when alongside.
on 45's there are large computer based systems that monitor and run almost everything, there must be close to if not more than 1000 PC style systems onboard most of which run 24/7 as they are for ship control, messaging, admin etc. they all have various servers that never get turned off.
STP,s run constantly, were as carriers could store raw waste and then pump it into tankers alongside.
Hot water is now from electric calorifiers rather than ones fed from shore side steam, ditto heating, this vastly increases electricity usage compared with before.
As I believe the new carriers will be all electric heating hot water etc, the power consumption will go through the roof. If they have made a shore steam capable system this will save caste amounts of electricity.
as someone else pointed out, we should have gone nuclear


War Hero
If you accept that a nice tea kettle or two was not going to happen on cost grounds and that a steam plant was similarly undesirable, then a CODLAGL (or whatever acronym they've actually invented for it!) makes perfect sense. The diesels are there for two reasons :

1. MT30 has too much grunt for low-power states, which means you'd either need to find a lower powered GTA to deal with low-speed propulsive load and ship service load or use the highly successful and not at all unsupportable Great White Turbine (aka WR21).
2. Even if you could find such a turbine, transients in the power demand would mean you'd spend a lot of time running that turbine at part-load, which as you'll know is generally a bad thing.

Given those two realities, a set of beefy DGs allied to two really beefy GTA potentially gives you a whole raft of generation settings, with the added benefit of good fuel economy for Mr Wartsila's finest. You don't have the same issues in routeing up and down takes big and slick enough for turbines to a tank top machinery room either.

It doesn't sound right and given unlimited bunce a nice nuclear plant would probably be better, but designing and building it, shielding it, manning it, maintaining it and disposing of it implies the sorts of costs that make HS2 look cheap.
Must admit I'm rather bemused by the logic behind a diesel driven aircraft carrier, it doesn't make sense.

An enormous increase in the initial cost of the QEC owing to the research, development and procurement of a completely new nuclear power plant (the French carrier CDG uses a totally unsuitable SSN unit) plus all the extra expense of safety features, specially qualified manpower, decommissioning, safe storage of waste, etc?

naval-technology.com said:
Carrier propulsion system based on Rolls-Royce's IEP technology

The MoD has decided not to use nuclear propulsion because of its high cost, and has chosen an podded propulsion system based on Rolls-Royce's integrated electric propulsion (IEP) system. The contract for the propulsion system was placed in October 2008.

The propulsion system will consist of two Rolls-Royce Marine 36MW MT30 gas turbine alternators, providing over 70MW and four diesel engines providing approximately 40MW, with the total installed power approaching 110MW...

I suspect much of the worry concerns the power consumption for propulsion which would not apply when the ship is alongside.


Book Reviewer
The cheapest option would have been coal fired steam boilers. We have loads of coal in the UK, it would have improved employment prospects for Miners and taken Stokers back to their roots!

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