The Distribution system comes after the switchboard and consists of the following:
Distribution boxes: These boxes are enclosed and made up of metal to supply power to localized parts of the ship’s machinery.
Motor starter boxes: There are hundreds of motors operating several mechanical machinery onboard the ship. Each group of motors is provided with motor starter boxes containing their “On & OFF” switch along with safety devices. Local gauges for amperage and temperature are fitted on the starter.
Shore connection boxes: When the ship is in a port with emission control requirements or during the dry-docking process where the ship generator cannot run, shore power is taken for running ship machinery. A shore panel is provided which is usually located near the accommodation entry or near the bunker station to easily accept shore supply cable;
Lighting distribution panel: The lighting distribution panel supplies power to lighting systems, accommodation systems, small heating appliances, circuits, and motors of 1/4 HP or less.
Emergency switch-off panel: To safeguard ship machinery and personnel, various Emergency switch Off Panels are provided at different locations for shutting down machinery and equipment in an emergency situation.
The main aim of installing a distribution system is to have an operational, alarm, and safety console for individuals or groups of machinery. Power is supplied through circuit breakers to large auxiliary machinery at high voltage. For smaller supply fuse and miniature circuit breakers are used.