Emergency generator and emergency switchboard

An emergency generator and emergency switchboard are required on a ship for the following reasons:

1. Emergency Situations: In the event of a main generator failure or a blackout, an emergency generator provides power to prevent a “Dead Ship” situation. It ensures the safety of the ship, crew, and cargo by supplying essential power to vital systems.

2. Essential Services: The emergency generator powers critical services and equipment that are necessary for the safe operation of the ship. These include emergency bilge pumps, main and emergency fire pumps, steering gear, water-tight doors, fire detection and firefighting equipment, emergency lighting, navigational lights and equipment, alarm systems, control devices of main machinery, communication systems, and more.

3. Location: To ensure accessibility and protection during emergencies such as fire or flooding, the emergency generator and emergency switchboard should be located outside the machinery space, above the load waterline, on the uppermost continuous deck, and not forward of the collision bulkhead.

Modes of Starting an Emergency Generator:

As per SOLAS requirements, the emergency generator should have at least two modes of starting available:

1. Battery Start: The generator starts automatically on battery power and runs unloaded. This mode is typically used for weekly starting tests.

2. Hydraulic Start: The generator is started manually using a hydraulic start motor. This mode is used for monthly starting tests and ensures the generator can be started even if the battery is depleted.

Starting Test of Emergency Generator:

Starting tests should be performed regularly to ensure the proper functioning of the emergency generator. The frequency of the tests may vary depending on regulations and ship-specific procedures. The procedures for battery start, manual (hydraulic) start, and automatic start are as follows:

– Battery Start: Switch to “test” mode, check voltage and frequency, run the generator unloaded for 10-15 minutes, check exhaust temperature and other parameters, and stop the generator by switching to “manual” mode and pressing the stop button.

– Manual (Hydraulic) Start: Switch to “manual” mode, check hydraulic accumulator pressure, open the valve from the accumulator to the hydraulic start motor, push the spring-loaded valve to start the generator, check voltage and frequency, run the generator for 10-15 minutes, check parameters, stop the generator using the manual stop button, and restore hydraulic accumulator pressure.

– Automatic Start: Open the breaker from the tie line on the MSB (Main Switchboard) or ESB (Emergency Switchboard) panel, which triggers the automatic start of the emergency generator using batteries. The generator comes on load automatically and supplies power to essential machinery and pumps. To take the generator off load, close the breaker, and for stopping the generator, switch to manual mode and press stop.

Battery Starting Procedure

1.Put the selector switch on Emergency panel to Test mode from Automatic Mode.
2.Then push the Start Button.
3.Emergency Generator will Start. Monitor all parameter & battery condition.
4.Run it for 10-15 min. If all found OK then push the stop button.
5.Put back the selector switch to automatic mode from emergency panel.

Hydraulic Starting Procedure

  1. Out the switch in manual mode as stated above and check the pressure gauge for sufficient oil pressure.
  2. Open the valve from accumulator to generator.
  3. Push the spring loaded valve and the generator should start.
  4. Check voltage and frequency.
  5. Keep the generator running for 10-15 min and check the exhaust temp and other parameters.
  6. For stopping, use the manual stop button from the panel.
  7. After stopping the generator, pressurize the hydraulic accumulator to desired pressure.
  8. Close the valve from accumulator to generator.

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