Lloyd's Register Safety alert:

Lloyd's Register
Thursday, November 03, 2011

Explosion of refrigerated container compression units and recommendations for recharging - Applicability: Container ship operators and crew, container terminals and stevedores, road haulage firms, maintenance fitters and end users/leasers of refrigerated containers.


There have recently been a number of incidents, some fatal, involving explosion of the compressor units fitted to refrigerated (reefer) containers. The cause of the explosions is still under investigation but it appears that the servicing of the refrigeration system is a common factor in each case. It has been reported to Lloyd's Register that refrigerant gas in refrigeration and air conditioning plants is being recharged or ‘topped up’ with different types of gas. This may have been a contributing factor to the explosions. The international community is phasing-out the use of HCFC R-22 refrigerant. This refrigerant is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to obtain. As a result, it has been reported that some service contractors are mixing dissimilar refrigerants in air conditioning and/or refrigeration systems. This practice carries the following significant risks:


1. It may violate several European and national standards, and may be illegal in some countries.
2. The unknown composition of the resultant refrigerant mixture may change system performance unexpectedly.
3. Standard pressure gauges and pressure / temperature charts may no longer be used effectively, preventing effective servicing of the equipment.
4. The mixed refrigerant cannot be reclaimed and must be destroyed at considerable cost to the contractor or the equipment owner.
5. Compressor warranties may be invalidated.
6. Safety may be compromised since the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the original refrigerant is no longer valid and does not exist for the mixed refrigerant blend of unknown composition.

 

Lloyd's Register recommendations:
 

We recommend the following actions when recharging or ‘topping up’ refrigerant systems:

 
1. Never mix refrigerants of different types with different ASHRAE numbers in the same system.
2. Only ‘top up’ refrigerant in any installed system with refrigerant of the same type and ASHRAE number.
3. Clearly label all systems to prevent accidental mixing of different refrigerants.
4. If accidental mixing does occur, remove the entire refrigerant charge immediately and dispose of it properly, in accordance with relevant national laws.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has also issued a Marine Information Note on the subject.
 

Maritime Reporter October 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Sapurakencana Wins 3 Petronas Oil blocks

SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad today announced that it has entered into Sale and Purchase Agreements to acquire the entire interest of PETRONAS in 3 blocks offshore

Kemp Succeeds Semple at Wood Group

Wood Group announced following changes to its senior management team. Alan Semple, chief financial officer (CFO) has advised the board that he intends to

ST Engineering Rejigs Top Deck

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) today announced the appointment of senior management personnel to new key management positions in the

Container Ships

Sea Star Line: Equipment Replacement Plan on Track

Company Receives New Refrigerated Containers and Places Order for New Genset Equipment   Sea Star Line, LLC began receiving the first of its new 100 40’ and 45’

October Imports up 9% at Port of Oakland

Containerized imports shipped through the Port of Oakland were up 9.17% in October from a year ago, the port said, citing the surge as the biggest jump in import cargo volume in six months.

Video: Reefer RoRo Ship Design Rebooted

Expanding on the Reefer RoRo Ship design release in September last year, naval architects group Knud E. Hansen A/S has continued the development of the new Reefer RoRo Ship design with version II.

Maritime Safety

USCG Assist Duck Hunters Near Harrington Beach Park

The Coast Guard and the Port Washington and Cedar Grove Fire Departments came to the assistance of two duck hunters on Lake Michigan Friday. The names of those involved are not being released.

HMAS Success Deploys to Middle East

After months of preparation, HMAS Success departed Garden Island in Sydney today for a six-month deployment to the Middle East Region to provide logistic support

7 Rescued from Sinking Freighter Near Haiti

Seven crewmembers were rescued after their 100-foot coastal freighter began taking on water and sank approximately 45 miles north off of Cap Haitien, Haiti, Friday.

Classification Societies

Deepwater Semi-Sub COSL Prospector Delivered

COSLProspector, the fourth deep-water semi-submersible drilling rig built by CIMC Raffles for China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL), has been delivered in Yantai, Shandong Province.

DNV GL, N-KOM to Partner on LNG Initiatives

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed today between DNV GL and Qatar’s premier shipyard Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) to promote liquefied natural

ClassNK-NAPA GREEN Wins IBJ Awards

Vessel performance monitoring and optimization solution ClassNK-NAPA GREEN was named the maritime industry’s top IT system by earning the IT Solutions Award

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1632 sec (6 req/sec)