ICEL: sustainability and innovation between shore connection and generative AI


At this year’s EUROPORT 2023 exhibition, Italian company ICEL exhibited “green” solutions -such as shore-socket switchboards or Shore Connection – and digital solutions, such as Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms to monitor the ship.

Shore Connections: A Market Set to Grow

Shore Connection switchgears are an innovative, environmentally friendly and complete ship-to-shore connection solution that offers environmental benefits and a significant savings opportunity for ship owners.

They enable ships to significantly reduce CO2 emissions by connecting to the shore power grid: an issue that will become increasingly relevant as new environmental regulations are introduced and penalties are applied to ships without such technology starting in 2024.

The investment in port electrification and the frequency change from 50 to 60Hz facilitate the adoption of these solutions, making shore connection switchgears (medium voltage) more accessible and cost-effective than the old low-voltage solution (equipped with the expensive converter directly on-board ship).

In addition to manufacturing and supplying the electrical solution, the company also offers comprehensive support in product development and customization. ICEL’s technical experts conduct quality surveys directly on ships, including using 3D technologies, ensuring that installations are optimized for the specific needs of each vessel.

Generative AI: The Digital Transformation of the Maritime Sector

During EUROPORT 2023, the demonstration of ICELTalk (ICEL’s Generative Artificial Intelligence system) showed conversations between operators and ships: the latter answered questions about speed, fuel consumption, engine temperature and pressure, and other vital parameters.

ICELTalk transforms the concept of a digital twin – the virtual model of a physical asset such as a ship – into an interactive conversational entity. This allows users to converse with their data, extract insights and make informed decisions based on real-time responses: essential for the management and optimization of industrial systems, it alsoenables faster recovery of the large investments made by shipowners to digitize the data collected on the ship.

With the ship’s digital twin, ICELTalk equips operators with tools capable of providing advanced asset monitoring: this improves operational efficiency and optimizes energy management, a crucial aspect for the maritime industry.

ICEL, supported by the ICAREX holding company, is working to make its Generative AI technology even more effective through the collection of more data by installing sensors on board to track energy consumption and other key variables.

ICEL: A Long History of Excellence in the Maritime Sector

With more than 85 years of experience in the field of low- and medium-voltage equipment, ICEL has established itself in the design and manufacture of customized switchboards for industry, the maritime and energy sectors. The company is distinguished by its great operational flexibility: it follows the customer all-around, with record delivery times and products of the highest quality.

Over the past two decades ICEL’s marine division has worked with renowned shipowners and equipped prestigious ships such as the Queen Mary 2, Caribbean Princess, Carnival Conquest and many others, supplying medium-voltage switchboards and solutions for shore connections.

Stand Europort ICEL

A crucial component of ICEL’s work is the detailed engineering of switchboards, a process that requires technical know-how, high precision, and a thorough understanding of technical regulations. This includes switchboard marinization, parameterization of electrical protections, and other activities that can ensure the safety and efficiency of electrical systems.

The mechanical design and production of copper or aluminum carpentry and conductor bars, carried out in-house, ensures complete quality control, compliance with high standards, and durability of components. This same level of attention is also applied to electrical design, wiring and testing processes.