Blackout Situation

Blackout condition is a situation on ship, wherein the main propulsion plant and associate machinery such as boiler, purifier and other auxiliaries stop operating due to failure of power generation system - Generator and alternator.

With technologies and automation, measures have been provided to avoid such blackout situation by means of auto load sharing system and auto standby system in which the generator set running in parallel or standby comes on load automatically if the main diesel generator fails.

What to Do in Case of a Blackout?

In case of Blackout following precautions and actions should be taken:-

  • Never panic in such situation, be calm and composed. Emergency generator will restore the power in no time
  • Inform officer on bridge briefly about the condition
  • Call for manpower and inform the chief engineer
  • If the main propulsion plant is running, bring the fuel lever to zero position
  • Close the feed of the running purifier to avoid overflow and wastage of fuel
  • If auxiliary boiler was running, shut the main steam stop valve to maintain the steam pressure
  • Find out the problem and reason for blackout and rectify the same
  • Before starting the generator set, start the pre- lubrication priming pump if the supply for the same is given from the emergency generator; if not, then use manual priming handle (provided in some generator)
  • Start the generator and take it on load. Then immediately start the main engine lube oil pump and main engine jacket water pump
  • Reset breakers and start all the other required machinery and system. Reset breakers that are included in preferential tripping sequence (Non-essential machinery)


A Pocket Guide To Fixed Fire Fighting Systems and Emergency Procedures For Ship’s Engine Room (Author: Marine Insight)

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