Machinery Spaces
Home || Diesel Engines ||Boilers||Feed Systems ||Steam Turbines ||Fuel Treatment ||Pumps ||Refrigeration ||

Bilge and Ballast Systems for Ships Machinery Spaces

The bilge system is used to remove small quantities of fluid that have leaked or condensed into a dry space. The system serves the machinery spaces, cargo holds, cofferdams, voids, stores, tunnels and pump rooms. Each space has its own piping but the pump is likely to be shared.

The bilge main is arranged to drain any watertight compartment other than ballast, oil or water tanks and to discharge the contents overboard. The number of pumps and their capacity depend upon the size, type and service of the vessel. All bilge suctions must be fitted with suitable strainers, which in the machinery space would be mud boxes positioned at floorplate level for easy access. A vertical drop pipe would lead down to the bilge.

ships machinery spaces
container ships machinery info
The emergency bilge suction or bilge injection valve is used to prevent flooding of the ship. It is a direct suction from the machinery space bilge which is connected to the largest capacity pump or pumps. An emergency bilge pump is required for passenger ships but may also be fitted as an extra on cargo ships. It must be a completely independent unit capable of operating even if submerged.

Bilge and ballast systems are interconnected so that each can perform the other's function in an emergency, ie a ballast pump could be used to pump out a flooded engine room. They are connected by means of a cross­over valve.

A centrifugal pump with a priming device is usually used, driven by an electric motor housed in an air bell. The power supply is arranged from the emergency generator. A typical system is shown in Figure . The various pumps and lines are interconnected to some extent so that each pump can act as an alternative or standby for another.

The capacity of a bilge system is defined by the diameter of the bilge main and pump capacity for the volume of the enclosed space. In passenger and cargo ships where the engine room provides bilge pumping, the whole ship is the ‘enclosed space’.
The diameter of the bilge main is:
d = 25+1.68vL(B+D)
where, d = internal diameter of bilge main, in millimetres
L = length between the ship’s perpendiculars, in metres
B = extreme breadth, in metres
D = moulded depth, in metres

In a tanker with a separate cargo pumping and piping system, the ‘enclosed space’ is the engine room and the diameter of the bilge main is:
d = 35+3vLo (B+D)
Lo = length of the engine room, in metres

Cargo ships are required to have two bilge pumps with non-return valves fitted to prevent back-flow or cross-flow.

The pumping system in a passenger ship must be able to drain water from any dry space when one or more of the ship’s other compartments are flooded. However, the system is not required to empty the flooded space. A flooded passenger ship is required to have at least one bilge pump, with its own power supply, available for pumping. Bilge suctions must have remotely operated suction valves. The minimum number of pumps required is three or four, depending on the ship’s design.

Mud boxes and strum boxes (line filters) are fitted at the ends and in bilge lines to stop debris being sucked into the pipe. The requirements for bilge systems on ships carrying dangerous goods are basically the same as for cargo ships. However, systems drawing fluids from gas-dangerous spaces are kept segregated with their own pumps and pipes, where appropriate, from systems serving gas-safe spaces.

The ballast system

The ballast system is arranged to ensure that water can be drawn from any tank or the sea and discharged to any other tank or the sea as required to trim the vessel. Combined or separate mains for suction and discharge may be provided. Where a tank or cargo space can be used for ballast or dry cargo then either a ballast or bilge connection will be required. The system must therefore be arranged so that only the appropriate pipeline is in service; the other must be securely blanked or closed off. Where tanks are arranged for either oil or ballast a change-over chest must be Fitted in the pipeline so that only the ballast main or the oil transfer main is connected to the tank.

Bilge and ballast systems

Fig: Bilge and ballast systems on board

Ballast pumps - Electric-driven pumps, usually vertically mounted and fitted with separate motor-driven priming systems. Close-coupled designs have the pump rotor mounted on an extended motor shaft. This can cause difficulties when there is a need to open up the pump, as the motor may also have to be dismantled to gain access. With owners expecting to shorten port turn round times; the need to get the ballast in or out of the tanks can take on a sense of urgency.

Container ships are case in point. With containers stacked perhaps six high they cannot leave port until the ballasting is correct. This means that ballast pumps have to move impressive amounts of seawater. If the operator says the ballast tanks have to be filled or emptied in a certain time, it is possible to look at this simplistically and divide their volume by the time to calculate the rate. However, as the tank empties, the head will reduce, and so will the effective flow rate. This in turn means the safety margin built in by the pump manufacturer is reduced, and friction losses in the pipework can take the flow out of specification.

A priming system with an adequate air-handling capacity is another important need. The pump/priming system not only has to contend with the depth of the tanks in the double bottom but also with the height of the pump above the tanktop. Air ejectors have limited capacity, so for the larger pumps separate motor driven pumps are required.

Related Info:

  1. Find out more on bilge and ballast system sketches
  2. The type of valves used in a ballast system would depend on where they were placed, but most valves would be gate valves or butterfly valves. The type of valve used on a bilge system would be screw down non-return valves.....

  3. Various valves arrangement for machinery spaces piping system
  4. Straight-through cocks, Globe valve,Non-return valves,gate valves,Relief valves, quick closing valves, valve chests....

  5. Mud boxes, Suction pipes, Steam traps, Expansion pieces & Drains for Machinery space piping system
  6. The mud box is a coarse strainer with a straight tailpipe down to the bilge..Suction pipes in tanks should be arranged with a bell mouth or foot..An expansion piece is fitted in a pipeline which is subject to considerable temperature variations..Drains are provided in pipelines and usually have small cocks to open or close them.....

  7. Reciprocating displacement pumping system for ships use
  8. The displacement pumping action is achieved by the reduction or increase in volume of a space causing the liquid (or gas) to be physically moved. The method employed is either a piston in a cylinder using a reciprocating motion, or a rotating unit using vanes, gears or screws.

  9. Centrifugal pump principles and working procedure
  10. In a centrifugal pump liquid enters the centre or eye of the impeller and flows radially out between the vanes, its velocity being increased by the impeller rotation....

  11. How a pneumatically control valve works ?
  12. Many pneumatic devices use a nozzle and flapper system to give a variation in the compressed air signal.A typical pneumatic control valve is shown in Figure . It can be considered as made up of two parts—the actuator and the valve. A flexible diaphragm forms a pressure tight chamber in the upper half of the actuator and the controller signal is fed in.....

  13. Domestic water systems for general cargo ship
  14. Domestic water systems usually comprise a fresh water system for washing and drinking and a salt water system for sanitary purposes . Both use a basically similar arrangement of an automatic pump supplying the liquid to a tank which is pressurised by compressed air...

  15. Bilge and ballast systems for general cargo ships
  16. The bilge main is arranged to drain any watertight compartment other than ballast, oil or water tanks and to discharge the contents overboard. The number of pumps and their capacity depend upon the size, type and service of the vessel.....

Marine machineries - Useful tags

Marine diesel engines ||Steam generating plant ||Air conditioning system ||Compressed air ||Marine batteries ||Cargo refrigeration ||Centrifugal pump ||Various coolers ||Emergency power supply ||Exhaust gas heat exchangers ||Feed system ||Feed extraction pump || Flow measurement || Four stroke engines || Fuel injector || Fuel oil system || Fuel oil treatment ||Gearboxes || Governor || Marine incinerator || Lub oil filters || MAN B&W engine || Marine condensers || Oily water separator || Overspeed protection devices || Piston & piston rings || Crankshaft deflection || Marine pumps || Various refrigerants || Sewage treatment plant || Propellers || Power Plants || Starting air system || Steam turbines || Steering gear || Sulzer engine || Turbine gearing || Turbochargers || Two stroke engines || UMS operations || Drydocking & major repairs || Critical machinery || Deck machineries & cargo gears || Control and instrumentation ||Fire protection ||Engine room safety ||

Machinery is about working principles, construction and operation of all the machinery items in a ship intended primarily for engineers working on board and those who working ashore . For any remarks please Contact us

Copyright © 2010-2016 Machinery All rights reserved.
Terms and conditions of use
Read our privacy policy|| Home page||