Electrical Safety for Ships
Electrical Protection for Ships
The single biggest electrical risk on ships is fire which may be caused by arc fault or ground fault currents.
RCDs can provide protection against ground fault currents and arc fault currents ensuring optimum protection.
Ships are quite unique when compared to other installations. Ships are metal based and in most cases an individual will be standing on metal. In the event of an individual touching a live part the risk of electric shock is far greater than almost any other situation.
When considering personal shock protection on ships a fast acting RCD is most suitable. A+ Type RCDs will detect all known types of AC and rectified residual fault currents whilst providing a high level of immunity to nuisance tripping. B-Type and F-Type RCDs are also suited to such an environment and provide a greater level of protection than an A+ Type RCD.
While protection is the number one objective for the installation of RCDs on ships and similar environments there are also a number of external factors that must be considered to ensure protection is constant and reliable. Ships are quite a distinctive application and raise many other considerations such as vibration and mechanical shock or stress. There is an enormous amount of vibration on ships, particularly when the ships are pulling in and out of port or reversing, slowing down or accelerating. It is vital that the RCD does not trip under these conditions and this is a hugely important factor at the design stage of the project. The RCD must be designed so that the mechanism does not trip in such circumstances and remove power.
At Western Automation we can offer technology and design support to customers in this industry. We work with our customers to determine the best RCD technology for the specific application ensuring its suitability and enhanced level of fire and shock protection.
Electrical fires pose a major risk on ships and all reasonable steps should be taken to minimise the risk of electrical fires. RCD technology can be used to a certain extent to mitigate such risks, but the only assured means of mitigating such risks is to use arc fault current detectors.
WA can provide arc fault protection technology for use in AFCIs or AFDDs specifically suited to such environments.