Gresham Power Electronics
Power Conversion and Distribution Equipment for Naval and Military Applications
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Gresham Power Electronics is the trading name of Digital Power Limited - we are a wholly owned subsidiary of Digital Power Corporation of Fremont, California, US. Here in the UK, our primary product lines are power conversion and distribution equipment for naval and military applications. The bulk of these we design and manufacture in-house.
Our defence business has been established for more than forty years. Specialists in the field of naval power conversion and distribution, we have equipment in service on virtually all of the Royal Navy's submarine and surface fleet. That we continue to support equipment that was supplied over 40 years ago and has been in service ever since is a testimony to the integrity of our designs and the highest build standards that we have always attained.
Power machinery supplier to world's navies
Many of our designs distribute power with battery support. This theme of supporting critical onboard functions such as emergency communications and lighting, often after all other sources of power have been lost, indicates the critical importance of our equipment to the vessel and its crew, and the role that we play in supporting so many of the world's navies over the years.
We have also built up a strong export business and our equipment is deployed on many foreign navies, from Australia to Malaysia, Oman to Spain and Turkey to Japan. Our latest designs support a number of current European warship programmes, including the S-80 submarines being built by Navantia at Cartagena in Spain, and DCN's Scorpene class submarines.
We are supplying DC and helicopter start systems to Australia's Hobart class destroyers. We are the chosen supplier for converted supplies and UPS for the Royal Navy's new AAW Destroyer, type 45, and are fully represented on the new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.
Emergency electrical power supply systems
In the normal course of events, electrical supply is 115V AC generated internally, and distributed throughout the vessel. This will support functions such as entertainment and domestic lighting, through to command and control and weapons systems. A recurring theme in our equipment is the support of electrical power in emergencies (such as the loss of the main ship's power), and the need to convert 115V AC either to a higher frequency or to DC.
Military-grade uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)
Uninterruptible power supplies provide instant battery support for critical functions if main power is lost. Emergency power cuts in with no interruption, and is typically available for up to 30 minutes. We supply equipment up to 60kVA for type 45 and QE class aircraft carriers.
Static frequency converters
Ships' supply is 60Hz, but up to 400Hz is required for sophisticated electronics such as radar, gyros and weapons systems. We provide this conversion with a wide range of equipment up to 40kVA.
Transformer rectifier units
DC power is required onboard for many applications, including machinery, fire doors and emergency communications. We convert the ship's supply to 28V DC for these purposes.
DC distribution systems with battery support
Often the rectification of AC to DC is far from being all that is required. Our support theme is reinforced with the need for such systems to be battery-backed for emergencies. In addition, we meet the need to distribute the rectified power supply to a variety of customers. The battery-supported rectifier can, in some cases, incorporate what is in-effect a mini switchboard for this purpose.
Equipment of this sort can be found on T45, as well as on Spanish frigates and the new Australian destroyers.
Helicopter starting systems
Like commercial aircraft, helicopters need ground assistance to start. This takes the form of 28V DC power, up to 1,800A. Our helicopter starting rectifiers are in service worldwide, from New Zealand and Australia through Spain and Norway, to virtually all helicopter-carrying vessels in the Royal Navy. As well as the rectifier, we supply a 40kVA frequency converter, together with cabling and a variety of flight deck controls, making a complete system for the starting and servicing of modern helicopters.
Submarine battery charging systems
As emergency power can be essential in supporting critical functions on a surface ship, it takes no great feat of the imagination to judge just how important it is on a submarine.
We design and supply a combination of battery packages with associated chargers that supply emergency power to lighting and communications in the nightmare scenario of a loss of main power.
Currently these are deployed on Scorpene submarines, and will shortly go into service in the new Spanish S-80 class.
In addition to these main systems, Gresham manufactures a wide range of individual support equipment including:
- Motor starters
- Automatic changeover switches (ACOS)
- Through bulkhead filter boxes
- Navigation light display and control panels
- Distribution panels
- Weapons panels
- Ship-to-shore supply boxes