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Tumnus2010

MS VIking Sky troubles

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To this amateur implementing diesel electric transmission seems to introduce an extra level of possible unreliability into what should be a fairly simple and well tried mechanical transmission. Why is it done and what benefits does it confer?

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Lots of advantages Millsy. Basically you have a power generation centre and you can switch the output to whatever services need it incrementally according to demand. Rather like the Star Trek Enterprise. (shields or phasers!)

Propulsion is flexible as it is by electric motors whilst in port you can shut down some of the diesels so as just to maintain sufficient power for hotel services loading. It is all very flexible and most of the time it works fine but a catastrophic event such as an engine going suddenly offline can give rise to electrical surges that can overcome the automatic central switchboard management systems and effectively blow all the 'fuses'. It can take some time to reset the system assuming that no physical damage has been done which can be the case given the high currents and voltages involved.

There is nothing new in these systems except for increased electronic sophistication. At the time of WW1 the US Navy were building turbo electric battleships, the liner Normandie was turbo electric as was the P&O Canberra. When QE2 was re engined she was fitted with a diesel electric installation.

Another plus is that with a four engine setup it is rarely necessary to use more than three at once which enables routine maintenance on one engine to be carried out at sea rather than in port where the ship will not be revenue earning.

In most instances when there is a fault it is just a matter of doing a systems reset which at sea is usually just a bit of an inconvenience rather than criticlal as was the case here which might provoke  bit of a rethink but the fact is that lots of cruise ships have very similar setups including the QM2 which has suffered temporary failures itself.

Edited by cvabishop
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In some American ports cruise ships can now plug into the local mains electrical supply and shut down their engines altogether while berthed.

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19 minutes ago, cvabishop said:

In some American ports cruise ships can now plug into the local mains electrical supply and shut down their engines altogether while berthed.

Like the Brooklyn Terminal in New York, except 'Queen Mary 2' rarely uses the shore side power there.

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5 hours ago, TonyMWeaver said:

Like the Brooklyn Terminal in New York, except 'Queen Mary 2' rarely uses the shore side power there.

Aren't plug adapters available to buy on board? 😀 Ed. 

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7 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

Aren't plug adapters available to buy on board? 😀 Ed. 

Yeah but you need to be mindful of reverse polarity😀!

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Viking Sky Engine Failure Caused By Low Oil Pressure

The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has released a statement on the Viking Sky engine failure, saying that the engine failure was directly caused by low oil pressure.

Throughout the night, the NMA worked together with the ship's classification society, Lloyd’s, and the cruise line in order to identify the reason why the Viking Sky suffered a power failure in challenging weather conditions over the weekend. 

"For the present, our conclusion is that the engine failure was directly caused by low oil pressure," the NMA said. "The level of lubricating oil in the tanks was within set limits, however relatively low, when the vessel started to cross Hustadvika. The tanks were provided with level alarms, however these had not been triggered at this time. The heavy seas in Hustadvika probably caused movements in the tanks so large that the supply to the lubricating oil pumps stopped. This triggered an alarm indicating a low level of lubrication oil, which in turn shortly thereafter caused an automatic shutdown of the engines."

The NMA has drawn up a general safety notice about ensuring a continuous supply of lubricating oil to engines and other critical systems in poor weather conditions.

This should be done in cooperation with the engine supplier and, moreover, be included in the ship’s risk assessments in the safety management system, the NMA said, in a statement. 

“We welcome the prompt and efficient investigation carried out by the NMA and we fully understand and acknowledge their findings," Viking said, in a prepared statement. "We have inspected the levels on all our sister ships and are now revising our procedures to ensure that this issue could not be repeated. We will continue to work with our partners and the regulatory bodies in supporting them with the ongoing investigations,”

On Tuesday, the NMA granted Viking Cruises a permit to sail on a single voyage to Kristiansund to have necessary repairs made.

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