The U.S. Coast Guard has issued a Safety Alert regarding the need for engineers to inspect generators to ensure that vibration hasn’t caused the winding leads to chafe at the point where they exit the generator frame.
The Safety Alert follows an incident in which a towing vessel lost power when a diesel-driven generator grounded out and tripped off line. A lead had chafed against a steel enclosure due to vibration. The Coast Guard said inspection of other boats in the company’s fleet revealed similar patterns of abrasion. Corrective actions included anti-friction tape and rubber protectors.
Vessel owners are urged to consider the range of problems that could be caused by vibration in the engineroom. The Coast Guard recommends that operators assign a qualified person to inspect casing areas where leads exit the generator to determine whether there is an indication of wear caused by vibration.
Below is the Coast Guard’s full Safety Alert, including visuals of the wear marks and how the configuration looks with the rubber protectors: