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8 Important Points To Note For


Maintenance Of Emergency Generators
On Ship

By Anish | In: Ship Generator | Last Updated on March 17, 2017

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Any kind of emergency equipment or system provided onboard is an importantlifeline for the
ship and its crew when faced with anemergency situation. Emergency Generator is without
doubt one of the most important equipment on board, which is responsible for preventing
accidents and grounding during power failure while the ship is in heavy trac, channels,
roughweather or in manoeuvring.

The Emergency Generator on ship comes into play as back up source of power when the main
generators fails to provide the necessary power to the engine room and other deck machinery
systems.

Considering its high importance, the emergency generator is required to be tested regularly
along with carrying out all important planned maintenance jobs as per schedule. This would not
only ensure smooth running of the emergency generator but would also avoid breakdown when
the ship is already facing a distress situation.

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Following are some important maintenance jobs that need to be carried out in emergency
generators on ships:

1. Change of Engine Sump Oil: It is important to check the oil level in the sump regularly. Since
the emergency generator is kept on auto mode, which ensures the generator starts and comes
on load automatically, it is necessary that before starting the engine for operation, oil level
ischecked on regularly basis. The condition of the oil will be known during this period and if the
oil is having carbon or soot particles, change of complete oil system needs to be done. The
running hours for changing of engine oil depends on the manufacturer, the engine make and the
oil grade in use. Normally it is done between 250-500 hrs.

The oil changing period must be cut by half when the fuel used in generator is more than 0.5%
to 1% sulfur.

2. Clean Air Cleaner: The combustion air for the engine is passed through an air lter, which can
be of following types:

1. oil bath air cleaner

2. dry type air cleaner (cartridge or dust collector).

It is important to clean the air lter at correct intervals of time as delay will lead to clogging and
less air going in the engine. This will reduce the eciency of the engine and increase the thermal
parameters. When using dry cartridge, ensure to replace them at intervalsstated by the maker.
Normal replacement schedule is one year or after 5-7 cleanings.

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3. Check Water Separator: Some emergency generators are provided with water separator to
prevent mixing of water with fuel. Check the level of water and make sure it is below the marked
level and regularly drained o. This is to be done to avoid rust and corrosion of fuel line devices
and to avoid incomplete combustion.

4. Check Electrolyte in the Battery:A battery is used in one of the starting methods of the
emergency generator. The electrolyte level in the battery must be checked at regular intervals
eitherby inserting a level stick or by checking the water level in the level tester cap (if provided).
Use distilled water to make up for the low level.

5. Check Alarms and Shutdowns: All the safety devices and alarms tted in the emergency
generator must be checked and tested regularly. Generator with V-belts have additional alarm
which will be sounded in the event of belt failure and operated by idler pulley.

6. Check V belt Tension: When V belt is tted, inspect the same for cracks and damages. Renew
the belt if damage/ cracking appearance is more. To check the belt tension, press the belt by
thumb in midway of the pulleys and check the inward deection in mm. It should not be more
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7. Clean Oil Filter Cartridge: The emergency generator is provided with various oil lters such as
by pass lter, centrifuge lter, lube oil lter, fuel feed pump lter etc. These lters need to be
cleaned or renewal of lter cartridgeisto be carried out as per the makers instruction or oil
condition.

8. Check Valve Clearance: The tappet clearance of the inlet and exhaust valve should be
checked at running hours stated in the maintenance section of the generators manual. Also
ensure the engine is cold before taking the tappet clearance.

Loss of emergency generators at times when they are needed the most can lead to unfortunate
and disastrous incidents. Followed a proper planned maintenance system along with thorough
regular checks is the key to ensure smooth running of emergency generators on board ships.

Over to you..

This is not an exhaustive list of important maintenance points. Are you aware of any other point
that should be added to this list?

Lets know in the comments below.

Report an Error

Tags: emergency generator generator maintenance

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About Anish
An ardent sailor and a techie, Anish Wankhede has voyaged on a number of ships as a
marine engineer ocer. He loves multitasking, networking, and troubleshooting. He is the
one behind the unique creativity and aesthetics at Marine Insight.

Comments

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I would like to add few more points: 1. checking the functioning of the ventilator aps. The
ventilator can be closed from outside the emergency generator room in case of re.

2. Check the antifreeze on the cooling water system.

3. Emergency generator must be test run ON-LOAD at least once in a month for 3-4 hours.
During this time the frequency, current, KW produced must be recorded every 30 minutes to
ensure proper functioning of the emergency generator.

Aneesh says
JULY 27, 2015 AT 7:36 AM

required this eld

Antonis C. says
JULY 28, 2015 AT 11:47 PM

Anything about the sea-water cooling system and the heat exchanger?

Very useful article.


Thanks!

Anish says
JULY 29, 2015 AT 2:40 PM

@Antonio: Check these articles-

http://www.marineinsight.com/guidelines/general-overview-of-central-cooling-system-
on-ships/

http://www.marineinsight.com/refrigeration-air-conditioning/types-of-heat-exchangers-
on-a-ship/

http://www.marineinsight.com/guidelines/how-to-do-maintenance-of-marine-
heat-exchangers-on-ships/

richard says
AUGUST 9, 2015 AT 3:24 PM

Check the hydraulic system for starting manually if the emergency generator is equipped
with.

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Antonis C. says
AUGUST 9, 2015 AT 6:32 PM

Very useful references.

Thanks a lot Mr Anish!

Yogi says
AUGUST 21, 2015 AT 1:41 PM

Anish can u tell me how reverse power trip testing is done onboard?
Also can u guide me how blackout simulation test is done onboard?
It will be very much helpful

Raunek says
AUGUST 21, 2015 AT 1:59 PM

Dear Sir, Please Post your question at http://forums.marineinsight.com for quicker replies.

Akhilesh says
OCTOBER 3, 2015 AT 2:48 PM

Photos accompanying your articles are taken from Maersks Margrethe-class vessels looks
like (now G-class) Ive been sailing on them the past few years. Nice website this!

Rouhollah Abbasi says


DECEMBER 31, 2015 AT 3:30 PM

As per rules/regulations every emergency generator to be tted with secondary means of


starting. It can be another set of battery, hydraulic (accumulator) or pneumatic. Important to
be maintained and check to be done at regular intervals.
Attention to be paid to the level of fuel in the fuel tank. Capacity of fuel tank xed as per rule
and to ensure a min level always maintained.
Nothing mentioned about maintenance of generator and EMG switch board.
Another point to mention, this is not mandatory for all emg diesel generators to come into
running and connect to the supply circuit automatically. That is depend on the vessel
notation.

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hKhaldon says
JANUARY 1, 2016 AT 2:15 AM

Very important. First check gas oil tank


If the emergency g. In close room open. The window or hatch cover. Put the switch in.
Position. Outomatic

karthick t says
FEBRUARY 16, 2016 AT 12:48 PM

all the emergency generator having water separators or any specially it will be there?

Ralph says
FEBRUARY 27, 2016 AT 6:05 PM

One critical area overlooked; Fuel integrity. Tank should be topped with minimum head space
to avoid condensation and potential for microbial buildup. If the fuel is in storage more
than six months, fuel should be treated with high quality fuel stability additive, especially if
the fuel is 0.1% sulfur, as hydro-treated low sulfur fuels tend to degrade rapidly. More than
half of emergency generator failures occur as the result of degraded fuel.

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