Steam Safety System

The steam system in the boiler is a high-pressure, high-temperature area. To safeguard the operator and the boiler itself, it is fitted with the following safety features:


Pressure gauge:

Multiple pressure gauges are fitted to ensure the operator has an idea of the current value of pressure inside the boiler. Usually, two pressure gauges are fitted on the boiler and one line is taken from the steam drum to the engine control room, to display the steam pressure remotely.


The pressure gauges are also incorporated with cut-in and cut-out automation systems, i.e. the input from the pressure gauges is used to operate the boiler burner. When the pressure reaches the set value, the boiler burner will stop firing and when the pressure drops to a lower set value, the burner will be switched ON to raise the boiler pressure.


Safety Valve: 

The boiler safety valve is extremely important safety equipment fitted on the steam drum of the boiler. As per SOLAS chapter II-1, every steam boiler and every un-fired steam generator shall be provided with not less than 2 safety valves of adequate capacity.


However, with regards to the output or any other feature of a boiler or un-fired steam generator, the administration may permit only one safety valve to be fitted if adequate protection against overpressure is thereby satisfactorily provided.


Usually, an improved high lift is one of the most popular types of safety valves used on a ship. They are set to lift at the blow-off pressure and shut when the pressure reduces to the safe limit. They are set to open at 3 % above working pressure. The lift of the valve is one-twelfth of the valve diameter.


Marine Boiler Steam Safety


Easing Gear:

The easing gear is attached to the boiler safety valve. Every individual safety valve is provided with its own easing gear, which is a pulley and wire arrangement (connected to the lever of the safety valve) with an accessible handle at the lower operating boiler platform.


It is used to lift the boiler safety valve in case of an emergency (without getting near the safety valve) and to regularly test the operation of the safety valves.


Steam Pressure Alarm and Cutout:

An audio-visual alarm is also provided for the steam pressure system to remind the operator about the steam pressure. Once the alarm activates and the pressure continues to rise (or decrease), the cut-out will get activated and it will shut off the fuel burner. The cutout functioning is different and independent of the automation which operates the burner.


The low-pressure cutout has the option to override it, but the high-pressure cutout will stop the burner and should never be overridden in any case


Boiler Vent:

A vent on the boiler drum is required to ensure the boiler does not implode once it is shut down. It is normally opened when the pressure gauge shows a reading below 0.5 bars.

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