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Emergency Generator Maintenance

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Marine Engineer
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Ships’ electrical systems may crash unintentionally. There are many factors that can cause this and the situation is called as blackout. If you are lucky, the emergency generator comes into play. It can provide the necessary power to get the systems up for a period of time.

Emergency generators work like normal diesel generators. The main difference between them is their intended use. In this article, we have prepared a detailed article on emergency generator maintenance.

Do not forget that we will talk about the methods and controls used in general, as we do not know your generator models on the ships.

What is Emergency Generator?

They are diesel generators placed in order not to endanger the ship or its environment due to power cuts on ships. Since the purpose of use is only for emergencies, it has a number of unique details.

SOLAS Emergency Generator Regulations

We have mentioned some regulation notes below so if you are interested you can send more details to us about regulations.

  •  Emergency generating sets shall be capable of being readily started in their cold condition at a temperature of 0°C. If this is impracticable, provision acceptable to the Administration shall be made for the maintenance of heating arrangements, to ensure ready starting of the generating sets.
  •  Each emergency generating set arranged to be automatically started shall be equipped with starting devices approved by the Administration with a stored energy capability of at least three consecutive starts. A second source of energy shall be provided for an additional three starts within 30 min unless manual starting can be demonstrated to be effective.
  • The source of stored energy shall be protected to preclude critical depletion by the automatic starting system, unless a second independent means of starting is provided. In addition, a second source of energy shall be provided for an additional three starts within 30 minutes unless manual starting can be demonstrated to be effective.
  • Electrical and hydraulic starting systems shall be maintained from the emergency switchboard.
  • Compressed air starting systems may be maintained by the main or auxiliary compressed air receivers through a suitable non-return valve or by an emergency air compressor which, if electrically driven, is supplied from the emergency switchboard.
  • All of these starting, charging and energy storing devices shall be located in the emergency generator space; these devices are not to be used for any purpose other than the operation of the emergency generating set. This does not preclude the supply to the air receiver of the emergency generating set from the main or auxiliary compressed air system through the non-return valve fitted in the emergency generator space.
  • Where automatic starting is not required, manual starting is permissible, such as manual cranking, inertia starters, manually charged hydraulic accumulators, or powder charge cartridges, where they can be demonstrated as being effective.

Emergency Generator Maintenance

Due to their durability and reliability, diesel generators are preferred more than gasoline and propane types. To ensure that they provide quality power throughout their service life, they should be regularly maintained. If you want to keep your generator’s performance constantly high, follow the generator manufacturer’s maintenance schedules and procedures.

Continuously monitor and implement the planned maintenance system. Compare the maintenance hours in the manufacturer’s manual with the planned maintenance system.

Do not forget to check in your weekly checks; oil level,fuel supply, air intake, lubrication system,air filter,exhaust system,power outages

Emergency Generator Start up / Starting Procedure

Before Starting Emergency Generator Maintenance

Before starting an emergency generator, we suggest performing daily or periodic maintenance. Inspect the engine compartment. Because this inspection can help to prevent major repairs at a later date.

  1. For the maximum service life of the engine, look for following items: Oil leaks, coolant leaks, loose bolts.
  2. Inspect the alternator and drive belts for cracks, breaks and other damages
  3. Check the fuel supply. Drain water from the water separator (if equipped). Open the fuel supply valve.
  4. If the engine has not been started for several weeks, fuel may have drained from the system. Air may entered the filter housing. You must prime the fuel system.
  5. Check the engine lubrication oil level. Maintain the oil level between marked lines.
  6. Check the engine coolant and maintain it if necessary.
  7. Check your emergency generator fuel tank level.
  8. Check your quick closing valve,ensure it is operable.

Hydraulic Starting of Emergency Generator

You may have to operate your generator manually in case of a routine control or emergency.

Although the methods vary from model to model, general usage is like this.

Check if there is any alarm on the generator. Change the operating mode from automatic to manual or local via the generator control panel.

There is a reset button on the spring starter motor. Check the button by pushing the reset button on the starter spring.

Compress the starter spring by turning the cranking handle clockwise. Make sure it hardens.

Remove the cranking handle and push the starter handle up.

Automatic Starting of Emergency Generator

To start automatically, just switch to local mode and press start

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