ABB powering the America’s Cup Emirates Team New Zealand

2013-07-01 - Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ), twice winner of the America’s Cup, is taking on the grueling challenge once again at the Regatta this year in San Francisco. ABB, official supplier to the Emirates Team New Zealand, has supplied a PCS100 SFC (Static Frequency Converter) to power their base in San Francisco during the event.

By ABB Communications

Emirates Team New Zealand


During a summer of racing from July 4th to September 21st, including the Louis Vuitton Cup, the Emirates Team New Zealand, headed by managing director Grant Dalton and skipper Dean Barker, will be based in San Francisco. In previous years, the ETNZ’s base was constructed using new and existing 40 foot containers and canvas tents wired in New Zealand. This year a new, more economical solution has been installed, which makes it easier to convert the supplied voltage of 480 V at 60 Hz frequency from the San Francisco grid to the voltage and frequency required for the New Zealand based equipment (at 400 V and 50 Hz). Thanks to ABB’s leading edge technology, this could be achieved using a 250 kVA PCS100 SFC. The SFC is compact and highly efficient, making the conversion with very low losses (95 percent efficient). The ETNZ’s base houses 80 employees and their electrical equipment together with a hospitality area (the Waka (1) from the Rugby World Cup 2011).

“It was the only available, cost effective and highly reliable solution,” said Sean Nelson, Project Manager from electrical contractors Bishman, when asked about the advantages of the SFC with regards operational costs and delivery time to San Francisco.
One of the unique features critical to the reliability of the converted output supply is the built-in redundancy capability, which is an intrinsic feature of its modular design. In the unlikely event of a fault in the rectifier or inverter modules, the master controller overseeing the power modules would provide a warning notification, but would crucially allow the system to continue operation until maintenance can be scheduled. With a campaign budget of over $100 million, it is essential that the PCS100 SFC will operate reliably 24/7 at its foreign base.

ETNZ has become a household name in New Zealand (their home country) following consecutive wins in the America’s Cup in 1995 and 2000, the first team from a country outside the United States to win and then successfully defend the America’s Cup. Their success in America’s Cup have contributed to New Zealand’s reputation for producing world-class boat designers and sailors. Since then the Swiss have held the trophy losing it to the Americans in 2010. This year New Zealand are among the top challengers with the hopes of that nation carried by skipper Dean Barker.

Watch the excitement of the countdown to the America’s Cup.



(1) Waka: Canoes of the Maori of New Zealand.


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