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ANMM – HMAS Vampire Electrical Upgrade

Project Description

The HMAS Vampire was the third Daring Class destroyer for the Royal Australian Navy, launched in 1956 and commissioned 1959. After a gallant history, she was gifted to the Australian National Maritime Museum in 1997 where she continues to be a popular tourist attraction to this day.

Kerfoot were engaged directly by Australian National Maritime Museum for the design and construct the major electrical upgrade, replacing the old 110 year old wiring and upgrading distribution boards, power and light on board without compromising the visual history or authenticity. The major challenge for this project lay in the initial brief of “make it look like you haven’t been here”.


Specific items within the scope of this project were:

  • Supply and install new light fittings and retrofitting of existing fittings on board to accommodate new LED fittings including custom light housing to replace aged broken fittings
  • Provide new 240V GPOs positioned throughout to service maintenance and display equipment on board.
  • Supply new 415V supply from a MSB located on shore to supply 2 new Distribution Boards on board
  • Install 3 phase power supplies throughout for future air-conditioning equipment
  • Install 2 new service pillars on shore to allow for connection/disconnection of the vessel for maintenance purposes.


Project Accolades

Earthing requirements became forefront of the design as originally there was no existing electrical components earthed. Kerfoot put forward the need to implement the use of a galvanic earthing isolation devices to protect the flow of electricity and restrict excessive decay of the vessel. This option was different and far superior to the traditional on shore earthing systems.

The innovative design of a service pillar for connection that allowed for the rise and fall of the tides to move seamlessly with the ship while still always maintaining power on board. This allowed for easy connection and disconnection when the ship is moved to the docks for maintenance.

Due to the ship now being a museum, Kerfoot also noticed that the existing wiring for all the rooms were locally controlled devices. Kerfoot designed a simple master override on/off from one local control point behind a lockable door. This was a game changer for the crew and ultimately saved on install time and wiring costs as a simple SWNE, using contactors located within our Distributions boards, could be run out around rather than multiple switching groups and strategies.

This was far from a simple job and was very exciting to work on from start to finish. The project team really excelled in their ambition to showcase their technical ability to complete such a class installation enabling a more reliable, safe, and superior quality installation that has not compromised the look or the feeling of the vessel.

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