Ship Automation for Marine Engineers and ETOs - 2nd Edition

Number of Pages:
Book Height:
285 mm
Book Width:
170 mm
1.8 kg
Published Date:
July 2021
Current Stock:
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This publication looks in detail at the operation, maintenance and troubleshooting of onboard electrical systems and appliances. It provides guidance on how to read a variety of electrical diagrams, power and control circuit construction and components, troubleshooting techniques and regular maintenance. It can be used as a comprehensive source of reference for management and operational level engineers as well as ETOs at any stage of their career.

Written by an industry expert, this publication covers every essential aspect of onboard automated systems.This second edition has been fully updated to include advances in marine automation and the wide variety of modern electrical appliances. It describes the features of different onboard circuits and the essential maintenance tasks to help prevent malfunctions and breakdowns. It also demonstrates how to approach troubleshooting in an efficient manner, so that beginners in electrical engineering can quickly gain a level of proficiency and professionals may greatly enhance their troubleshooting skills. The guide is illustrated throughout with circuit diagrams, component schematics and case study photographs taken on board during modern fleet inspections.

Recognised by The Canadian Ministry of Transportation as one of the publications recommended for ETO education in Canada, this guide will benefit:

Management level marine engineers

operational level marine engineers

ETOs at any level of professionalism

engineering cadets

electrical engineering cadets.

Preface to the Second Edition

Working on board as an ETO or marine engineer requires efficient resolution of various malfunctions, which are often quite unpredictable, as well as essential maintenance tasks to help prevent the occurrence of malfunctions and breakdowns. This demands skills and troubleshooting techniques that cannot be learnt in marine academies and institutions, but are developed through years of experience on board.

Almost a decade has passed since publication of the first edition of Ship Automation. These years were spent on troubleshooting tasks as well as working as a trainer in the field of marine automation. So, it is time to upgrade the first edition with more useful information for all who work with onboard automation.

This edition has been written bearing in mind the rapid changes in marine automation, focusing on demonstrating how to approach troubleshooting in an efficient manner, so that beginners in this field can quickly gain some level of proficiency.

This book will introduce you to a variety of modern electrical appliances that are utilised for ships’ automation and you will progress to reading electrical diagrams like a skilled electrician. If you find yourself reading something you already know, read it anyway; you may gain a better foundation for what follows. Every paragraph is considered important, so do not rush or try to cover a lot of pages in a short period of time. Once you have read each chapter, you should look at your current ship’s diagrams to find out what is common between the explanations and the reality you will encounter.

Although the information provided in this book is based on maritime industry expertise and the author’s many years of experience, it is intended to be used only as a technical guide.

However, you will not become a troubleshooter just by reading this book. Learning through experience will always be the best training.

Personnel who will find this book both educational and informative include:

  • Management level marine engineers
  • operational level marine engineers
  • ETOs at any level of professionalism
  • engineering cadets
  • electrical engineering cadets.

Good luck and fair troubleshooting.

Alexandr Yakimchuk Pr.Eng, DipEE, Superintendent, TSA Trainer

1. How to Read Electrical Diagrams
1.1 Electrical Diagrams
1.2 Diagram Markings and Designations
1.3 Electrical Equipment Representation
1.4 How to Locate an Item in a Diagram
1.5 Cable and Conductor References
1.6 Line Break and Line Continuation Reference
1.7 Method of Wiring
1.8 Technical Data and Type Designations
1.9 How to Read a Diagram

2. Control Elements and Electrical Symbols
2.1 Electrical Diagram Symbols
2.2 Abbreviations

3. Relays and Contactors
3.1 Terminal Markings and Contact Designations
3.2 Industrial Electro-mechanical
3.3 Reed Relays (Electromechanical Printed Circuit Board Relays)
3.4 Solid State Relays
3.5 Control Relays
3.6 Contactors
3.7 Contactor Monitoring Device
3.8 Solid State Contactors
3.9 Regular Condition Inspection of Relays and Contactors

4. Overload Relays
4.1 Bimetallic Overload Relays
4.2 Trip Class
4.3 Current Transformers’ Operated Overload Relay (Electronic Overload Relays)
4.4 Problems Encountered with Electronic Overload Relays

5. Circuit Protection Measures
5.1 Protection Discrimination
5.2 Motor Starter Protection
5.3 Fuses
5.4 Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCBs)
5.5 Motor Starter Protectors (MSPs)
5.6 Moulded Case Circuit Breakers (MCCBs)
5.7 Large Moulded Case Circuit Breakers
5.8 Insulated Case Circuit Breakers (ICCBs)
5.9 Inspection of LV Circuit Breakers

6. Rotary Switches, Selector Switches and Changeover Switches
6.1 Reference System for Selector Switch Contacts
6.2 Diagram Symbols
6.3 Controllers

7. Time Delay Relays (Timer Relays)
7.1 Time Delay Adjustment for Multi-range Time Delay Relays
7.2 Timing Functions Definition

8. Protection and Monitoring Relays
8.1 Current Monitoring Relay (Over/Under Current Monitoring Relay)
8.2 Phase Imbalance/Three-phase Voltage Monitoring Relay
8.3 Insulation Resistance Monitoring Relay
8.4 Thermistor Protection Units for use with PTC Probes
8.5 Three-pole Multi-function Protection Relay

9. Three-phase Induction Motors
9.1 Stator Winding
9.2 Two-speed Pole Changing Motors
9.3 Motor
9.4 Checking Stator Windings
9.5 Problems Encountered with Induction Motors

10. Motor Starters
10.1 Direct-on-line (DOL) Starting
10.2 Star-delta Motor Starter
10.3 Dahlander Motor Starter Application
10.4 Problems Encountered with Motor Starter Enclosures
10.5 Electromagnetic Spring Set Brake
10.6 Slip Ring Assemblies
10.7 Wound Rotor Motor Starter
10.8 Variable Frequency

11. Power Generation and Distribution on Board a Ship
11.1 Low Voltage Ship Network
11.2 Low Voltage Power Plant
11.3 LV Switchboards
11.4 Main Switchboard
11.5 Emergency Switchboard
11.6 Main Switchboard to Emergency Switchboard Transfer Line
11.7 Power Management System
11.8 Generators’ Standby Function
11.9 Emergency Generator
11.10 Marine Cables
11.11 Enclosure IP Rating

12. High Voltage Systems
12.1 Vacuum Circuit Breakers
12.2 SF6 Circuit Breakers
12.3 Working on HV Systems
12.4 Insulation Resistance Tests on High Voltage Equipment

13. Step-down Transformers
13.1 3 × 220 V Consumer Network
13.2 Parallel Operation of Step-down Transformers

14. Generator Neutral Systems
14.1 Power System Networks
14.2 Ship Power Systems
14.3 LV Earthed Neutral System 3 × 220 V Network

15. Insulation Resistance Monitoring on AC and DC Networks
15.1 Insulation Resistance (IR) Basics
15.2 Onboard Monitoring of IR Faults
15.3 Insulation Monitoring of 24 VDC Consumer Networks
15.4 What are the Usual Causes of Earth Faults on Board?

16. Synchronous Brushless Generators
16.1 Construction and Main Components
16.2 Excitation System
16.3 Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR)
16.4 Parallel Operation
16.5 Active and Reactive Load Sharing
16.6 Understanding Power Factor (PF)
16.7 Insulation Resistance Test
16.8 Problems Encountered with a Brushless Generator’s Excitation System

17. Programmable Logic Controllers
17.1 PLC Terminology
17.2 PLC Inputs
17.3 PLC Outputs
17.4 Input/Output Expansion Modules
17.5 Programming Languages
17.6 Textural Programming Language
17.7 Troubleshooting PLC-based Applications

18. Process Monitoring Sensors
18.1 Resistance Temperature Detectors
18.2 NTC Thermistors
18.3 Thermocouples
18.4 Temperature Monitoring Relay
18.5 Pressure Transducers
18.6 Speed Monitoring Sensors
18.7 Tachogenerator
18.8 Proximity Sensors
18.9 Feedback Potentiometers
18.10 Incremental Encoders
18.11 Wiring and Shielding of Analogue Sensors
18.12 Pressure Switch
18.13 Temperature Switch
18.14 Float Switch
18.15 Fluid Level Monitoring Capacitive Sensor
18.16 Limit Switch
18.17 Magnetic Safety Switch

19. Intrinsic Safety
19.1 Zener Barriers
19.2 IS Applications
19.3 Approvals and Regulations
19.4 Periodic Testing of Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Areas
19.5 Maintenance of Exd-protected Equipment

20. Automatic Fire Alarm Systems
20.1 Wiring Features of Initiating Devices
20.2 Fire Alarm System Maintenance

21. Backup Power Supply
21.1 Lead-acid Batteries
21.2 Battery Protection
21.3 Battery Installation Requirements
21.4 Charging Lead-acid Batteries
21.5 Lead-acid Battery Maintenance
21.6 Safety Precautions when Maintaining Lead-acid Batteries
21.7 Nickel-cadmium (NiCd) Batteries
21.8 NiCd Battery Maintenance
21.9 Automatic Chargers

22. Navigation and Signal Lights
22.1 Problems with Navigation and Signal Lights

23. Electrical Safety Practice on Board
23.1 Electrical Tool Markings
23.2 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
23.3 Storage Recommendations

24. Electrical Tools and Troubleshooting Techniques
24.1 Digital Multimeter
24.2 Process Calibration Tools

25. Spare Parts Management
25.1 Key Requirements
25.2 Safety Critical Spare Parts
25.3 Inspection, Testing and Maintenance
25.4 Onboard Storage of Spare Parts

Appendix 1 – How to Read Electrical Diagrams
Appendix 2 – European Electrical Diagram Symbols
Appendix 2.1 – Difference between NEMA and IEC Standardised Electrical Symbols
Appendix 3.1 – Time Relays Definitions
Appendix 3.2 – Delay On Function Variations
Appendix 3.3 – Delay Off Function Variations
Appendix 3.4 – Interval Function Variations
Appendix 3.5 – Recycler Function Variations
Appendix 3.6 – Star-delta Function Variations
Appendix 3.7 – Timer Relay Terminal Definitions and Meanings
Appendix 4 – Rated Currents of Three-phase Induction Motors (Guidelines for Squirrel-cage Electric Motors)
Appendix 5 – Rating of Cables
Appendix 6 – Conversions and Prefixes
Appendix 7 – Thermocouples -J and -K Reference Table
Appendix 8 – Marine Classification Societies Electrical Components Approval


Witherbys titles are developed using scripts developed by technical experts that are peer reviewed within work groups. Typically, they seek to improve understanding of the regulations, recommendations and guidelines issued by Industry.

Witherbys staff have significant expertise in the fields of navigation and hazardous cargoes as well as in the presentation of complex subjects in a graphic and easy to understand manner.

Alexandr Yakimchuk

Alexandr Yakimchuk has over 30 years’ experience in marine automation. He graduated from State Maritime Academy in 1987 and has a Master’s degree in Marine Automation and Electrical Installations Engineering. He gained sea experience on board cruise liners, rising to the position of Chief Electrical Engineer.

In 1997, Alexandr moved to a German ship management company with a fleet of over 40 container and heavy lift vessels. He became superintendent for automation in 2000 and undertakes inspections, repairs, and regular and emergency online troubleshooting tasks for the company managed fleet.

Alexandr is also a part-time interactive training developer and a trainer for Marlow Navigation – he has personally trained over 2,500 marine engineers. He has extensive experience in 2D and 3D CG and modelling, as well as circuit simulation skills. Alexandr works with a few training centres in Odessa and also manages emergency troubleshooting cases for various German shipowners. He has worked with Witherby Publishing Group since 2010 as an author and marine automation consultant.


IMarEST is the first Institute to bring together marine engineers, scientists and technologists into one international multi-disciplinary professional body. Here you will find all the information you need about who we are, what we do and why we do it.

You can also find out how IMarEST is governed, learn about the history of IMarEST, founded in 1889, and discover how our associated charity, The Guild of Benevolence, works to support those in the marine community requiring financial support.

Number of Pages:
Book Height:
285 mm
Book Width:
170 mm
1.8 kg

Alexandr Yakimchuk, IMarEST, Witherbys

Published Date:
July 2021