A power barge is an actual power plant installed on a deck barge. These types of barges are oftentimes referred to as “floating power plants”. The type of power plants can be single or multiple gas turbines, reciprocating gas and diesel engines, boilers or nuclear reactors.
An interested piece of trivia is that these types of barges were originally developed during WWII by none other than General Electric.
These barges perform a number of different activities, such as base load, emergency and temporary power, or in power generation projects that require transportable power. Power barges can be installed permanently, thus operating similarly to a land-based power plant.
What makes power barges so convenient are its mobility, obviously, and they’re in great demand for their short construction cycles, deployment flexibility, and low land requirements.
Usually, power barges are moored in protected harbors, and might be completely self-contained with transformers or connected with land-based transformers. Typically, to save on construction costs, floating power plants are constructed off-site, then transported via dry tow to its end-use location.
Throughout the 1990s. power barges were a popular way of providing energy to developing nations or water-centric regions. New York City, Khulna, Bangladesh, the Dominica Republic, the Philippines, Jamaica, Malaysia and Kenya have all depended on power barges, supplied by such companies as General Electric Westinghouse, Wärtsilä, and MAN.
Looming on the horizon, power barge projects include RWE’s recent foray into gas turbine peaker power barge, and Karadeniz Energy’s medium speed diesel engine power barges to be used in Iraq.
A special mention goes out to floating nuclear power stations, which present self-contained, low capacity nuclear power plants (with heat and power reactors). The world’s first floating nuclear power station was MH-1A, but the new new Russian Rosatom project represents the first mass production of a vessel of this kind.
These are very important to many large scale operations. Without this particular invention, the face of the world as you know it would not be nearly what it is today. I mean think about it… Just how important are these little miracles of human ingenuity? They are present all around the world at all of the most important places. Seriously, when I try to think about just what major accomplishments we have made as a species, then I remove the ability to use a barge for any portion of that project at any stage… It’s mind boggling and frankly it gives me a headache…
So seriously, we appreciate the mind power and will power behind the invention and construction of these modern day miracle machines. A great many thanks go out to the powers that be on this one.