INTRODUCTION The electrical equipment aboard ship is inspected and tested during the complete engine survey which occurs every four years. Such a survey is prescribed under the Rules and Regulations for the Classification of the Ship. All Classification societies have their own rules which should be consulted prior to an electrical survey.
SOLAS The IMO, which met for the first time in 1959, is a specialised agency of the UN devoted to maritime affairs. Main interest: “safer shipping and cleaner oceans”.
Of all the international conventions dealing with maritime safety, the most important is the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, better known as SOLAS, which covers a wide range of measures designed to improve the safety of shipping.
The Convention is also one of the oldest of its kind: the first version was adopted in 1914 following the sinking of the Titanic with the loss of more than 1,500 lives. Since then there have been four more versions of SOLAS. The present version was adopted in 1974 and entered into force in 1980. The Convention in its consolidated edition dated 1997 has eleven chapters.
Electrical regulations are part of Chapter II-1 which outlines the requirements for Ship construction — sub-division and stability, machinery and electrical installations. This Chapter has five Parts as follows: Part AGeneral Part BSub-division and stability Part CMachinery installations Part DElectrical installations Part E Additional requirements for periodically unattended machinery spaces The Merchant Shipping Rules - Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) - IMO Convention British Standards (BS) International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
The electrical installations (Part D) is sub-divided into regulations as: Regulation 40 General Regulation 41 Main source of electrical power and lighting systems Regulation 42 Emergency source of electrical power in passenger ships "V" Regulation 42-1 Supplementary emergency lighting for ro-ro passenger ships Regulation 43 Emergency source of electrical power in cargo ships Regulation 44 Starting arrangements for emergency generator sets Regulation 45 Precautions against shock, fire and other hazards of electrical origin
Classification Societies Some of the main Classification Societies for ships are: American Bureau of Shipping, New York. Bureau Veritas, Paris. Germanischer Lloyd, Hamburg. Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, Tokyo. Det Norske Veritas, Oslo. Registro Italiano Navale, Genoa Electrical equipment and services aboard ship must also meet the minimum standards specified by various national and international organisations.
For British registered ships in particular, it is necessary to comply, with: Regulations for the Electrical and Electronic Equipment of Ships - Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE). In conjunction with the British Standards Institute (BSI) these Regulations are being combined with the Recommendations for the Electrical and Electronic Equipment of Offshore Installations.
The standards specified by the above organisations are met when the ship is designed, built, approved and classified. It is for the shipowner and the operating staff to maintain the vessel and its electrical installation to the requirements of the Classification Society throughout the ship's lifetime. The periodical electrical survey is, therefore, to check that the installation is maintained to the Rules of the Classification Society.