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Plug specialist ensures safe, flexible and reliable connections in Cannes harbour

03 September 2014

MARECHAL ELECTRIC has supplied the old harbour at Cannes, on the Nice Côte d’Azur, with safe, flexible and reliable electrical connections to provide power for yachtsmen and event management companies throughout the 67th Film Festival, in 2014, and at other peak periods. 

Cannes harbour and DSN and DS plug terminal
Cannes harbour and DSN and DS plug terminal

MARECHAL worked closely with the Chamber of Commerce (CCI), which manages the harbour, and with the harbour technicians, to provide the high level of service and expertise required to eliminate electrical failures and ensure the highest level of safety in a challenging and diverse marine environment.

The CCI Nice Côte d'Azur Riviera Ports company operates four harbours: Villefranche, Golfe-Juan, Nice and Cannes. These harbours are continually being developed and improved as demonstrated by MARECHAL’s work on Cannes Harbour.

For more than ten years now, the harbour management team of the CCI Nice Côte d’Azur and MARECHAL ELECTRIC’s marine specialist Grégoire Daher, have been working in partnership to install the infrastructure for supplying electrical power throughout the harbour.

This partnership has resulted in the installation of fixed and mobile power points to provide the harbour with a flexible and reliable electrical power-supply system capable of supporting peaks in demand such as the Cannes Film Festival, the Cannes Yachting Festival and the Cannes Christmas Market. This collaboration has included the renovation of the harbour equipment on the Albert Edouard pier, Pantiero Quay and esplanade, Saint Pierre Quay and the mobile floating pontoons, as well as the Max Laubeuf and du Large Quays. Each of these areas is dedicated to a different activity, such as yachting, pleasure-boating, sales or events, and so each needs an electrical power system which is designed to meet its individual power needs.

Powering the harbour

A concession contract, awarded by the Alpes Maritimes General Council, means that the CCI Nice Côte d’Azur is responsible for the operation of Cannes harbour until 2021. Patrice DE CSIKY’s Technical Services team has the essential technical skills to install and maintain the equipment, including divers and electricians specialising in high-voltage maintenance and access control. Patrice De Csiky also supervises the harbour installation and renovation projects which includes work on the electrical power system.

It was not only the wide product range which persuaded Patrice De Csiky to select MARECHAL, but also the guaranteed quality, reliability and ease of use that each product offers. At each major event, the harbour’s technicians work on permanent stand-by on a shift system to ensure a fast response at any time. MARECHAL’s “Blue” electrical plugs meet almost all of the harbour’s power needs whilst offering easy installation and a considerable reduction in failure and maintenance time.

Thierry Paviot, High-voltage Electrician, confirms the benefits of using the MARECHAL connectors: “The plugs are compact, which is a real advantage when installing them onto terminals and mobile boxes. They are also sturdy and safe.”

The connectors must also provide the flexibility to meet the power needs of different types of boats which use the harbour. Thierry Paviot and Nicolas Vuillaume, Access Control Electrician, ensure the continuity of electrical connections from 16 A to 400 A with MARECHAL’s SP, PF, DECONTACTOR DS and DSN ranges. These electrical plugs are integrated into terminals or cabinets to supply all the boats as well as the different events which take place in Cannes harbour. The quality and reliability of the power supply, as well as its ease of access, are vital to everyone who uses the harbour’s facilities.

Safety for maintenance and pedestrian zones

Installed in concrete structures below sea level, low-voltage distribution panels are the starting point for each maintenance and security procedure

All of the terminals are directly linked to a total of three low-voltage distribution panels: two at the north of the harbour and one to the south. To ensure the safety of pedestrians the cables are routed away from the quays or installed underground.

Always looking to use leading-edge technology, Cannes harbour was keen to use an innovative new design for the terminals on the Albert Edouard pier and Saint Pierre Quay. Each terminal includes an electrical cabinet which is supplied from the main, low-voltage distribution panel at a maximum current of 400 A. The electrical cabinet is designed to connect to a mobile trolley which has a number of electrical connections. There are four different types of electrical cabinet, each fitted with MARECHAL plugs to provide a different electrical supply: 400 A, 250 A, 125 A and 63 A.

This gives the harbour’s technical teams the ability to change the trolley to match the power ratings required by the different types of boats which use the harbour. An isolation system, between the main low-voltage distribution panels and the electrical cabinet, ensures that these operations are carried out in complete safety. As Thierry Paviot explains “A single, unique key is used to open the drawer in the voltage distribution panel, the electrical cabinet and the trolley. This means that only one technician can work on a specific part of the system and the circuit cannot be accidentally re-connected by another technician until the work is complete and the key is returned.”

In order to ensure continual availability, the three low-voltage distribution panels are linked to each other to provide back-up power in the event of a failure in one of the panels.

The safety of maintenance staff and the public is critical and DECONTACTOR MARECHAL plugs help to ensure this with their unique load-break switch and watertight reinforced housing which is sealed to IP66/67. A safety shutter also prevents contact with the ‘live’ parts of the DECONTACTORs, eliminating the risk of accidents caused, for example, by a child touching the connector. The terminals on the Saint Pierre Quay, which was renovated in 2011, were specifically developed by DEPAGNE, on a principle similar to that of the terminals on the Albert Edouard pier. Each terminal is fitted with MARECHAL DECONTACTORs which makes the quay accessible and safe for the public and for the yachtsmen who need to connect their boats to the power system.

Flexibility and innovation on the harbour

For the Cannes Yachting Festival in September, the harbour will be completely reconfigured. As Thierry Paviot explains; “The harbour changes according to the different events”. To achieve this new configuration, the CCI had to disconnect the floating pontoons linked to Pantiero Quay and to the end of the Albert Edouard pier. Besides the telecommunication and water systems, the CCI also had to implement safe and waterproof connections which they achieved by using MARECHAL socket strips at the head of the landing stage. MARECHAL plugs are also fitted into the electrical cabinets which are situated along the harbour and used by the different events. This provides the maximum number of power points whilst limiting the number of over-ground cables.

Thierry Paviot chose MARECHAL plugs because they can be customised to use blue plugs for connecting boats and event equipment and black plugs for connecting mobile floating pontoons. MARECHAL DSN and DS6 connectors will be fitted at the head of the landing stage to provide water, remote meter-reading and Wi-Fi connections. They are both lockable and tamper-proof so that only the harbour technicians can access the electrical connections to the floating pontoons.

Practical renovation of the quays

The diversity of the power requirements at the harbour means that the electrical plugs had to be easy to install and to maintain as well as completely safe. This is why the technicians chose MARECHAL equipment. “The standardisation of MARECHAL’s products means that we only need a few tools, and fast access to MARECHAL’s spares inventory, to carry out all of the maintenance procedures on the connectors. The flexibility of the products also meant that we were the first harbour to install plugs inside trolleys to meet the specific power requirements of different events organised in and around the harbor,” explains Thierry Paviot. “Moreover, by using dual-voltage DSN3 32 A or DS6 63/90 A plugs, we can use the same connectors for boats that need a single-phase 220V supply and those which need a three-phase 400V supply such as motorboats, or air conditioning. This means lower installation costs and an infrastructure which is infinitely flexible!”

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