Emergency Generator like any other normal generator on ship is required for the purpose of production of power (Electricity). But as name suggests, it is to be used in case of the emergency like Black Outs, getting ship to live after dead condition. Since the entire generator on a ship lies in the engine room, there has to be a source of supply that is outside this machinery space. Reason, well engine room is highly prone to fires and other factors, and thus there is a need of generator which is outside this space.
Usually on ship fourth engineer do the periodic checking of this generator, on Saturday or Sunday (Whichever is suitable). The idea is to start this piece of machinery in each week for five minutes. This makes sure that, your machinery is working properly all the time and if there is any type of problem, to rectify the same, because this has to work in emergency condition and you cannot have negligence towards it. Generally the starting arrangement of this type of machinery is kept auto, so that it can
start, within 30 seconds.Read about Black Out condition on board a Vessel
This machinery can be operated from the Bridge, Locally and also from the ships fire control station. The idea is to provide power to necessary arrangements during the blackout like navigational light, emergency fire pump, instruments and other emergency lights. Well now questions come, why blackout happens. There can be any reason. Generally we have three generators on board and all of them are in working condition, but only one runs and other two are on standby. All these three can be run simultaneously, if there is any large need of power like crane operations or reefer cargo. Black outs on ships generally happens due to failure to synchronize two generators or if your systems that are supporting these machines are not working properly like lube pump etc.
Starting Emergency Generator on Battery
When we do the weekly rounds, we usually start it manually. There is an electric button in the control panel of this generator which needs to be turned to the manual position. But before that, check these things.
1) Level of fuel in the fuel tank (Generally we use diesel and capacity should be that it can work for 24 hours).
2) Level of coolant in the radiators.
3) Lube Oil Sump level.
4) Battery Charge level.
5) Any unusual leakage at the bottom of it. After checking these, turn the switch to manual position and press the start button. The generator will start on battery. Check the charge level of battery this time, as it could have drained out while starting. There are two batteries. Please Press the reset button, otherwise generator will not start at any other mode.
Starting Emergency Generator on Spring Power
In the manual mode of starting, there is another option of starting it by the spring power. And this is the important one.
1) Move the starter arm upward by 90 degree, in the vertical position.
2) Now with turning lever, turn the spring box assembly. There is a small glass there by which you can see the red and white marking. Red is for the warm engine starting and white is for the cold engine starting.
3) Usually 7 to 9 rounds will make sure that spring starter has enough energy stored in it to start the engine.
4) Make sure that you lock the fuel valve with locking arrangement,
5) Now release the starter arm, and you generator should start.
6) Make sure that you check the cooling water pressure, RPM and Oil pressure. Make sure thatthere is no unwanted noise coming through the engine.
7) If you wish to check the power, make sure the bus tie breaker is in open position from the main electrical switchboard.
8) And in the emergency control box, switch to closed position.
9) To stop generator, first reverse the 6 and 7 processes. Now pull back the fuel level in horizontal position and remove the locking arrangement.
10)Now press the reset button and Put the manual mode to auto. Make sure that auto stand by light glows.
11)Fill the fuel tank if necessary.