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 Safety may be compromised since the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the original refrigerant is no longer valid and does not exist for the mixed refrigerant blend of unknown composition.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 February 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

OTC Names Technology Award Winners

The Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), which takes place May 4-7 in Houston, has announced 17 technologies that will receive the Spotlight on New Technology SM Award.

Jack W. Fisher Passes Away at 73

Jack W Fisher, president of JW Fishers Mfg. passed away at home after a brief illness on February 20, 2015. He was 73 years old.   The JW Fishers business was started because Fisher,

Piracy Still a Big Threat in the Indian Ocean

Underestimating the security risk in the Indian Ocean could put ships in danger once again, says maritime security company MAST Ltd.   “Whilst recent reports

Container Ships

IACS Comments on MOL Comfort Report

The International Association of Classifications Societies (IACS) informs it will study the final report issued in Japan by the Committee on Large Container Ship Safety (CLCSS),

Are Megaships Game Changers?

Bragging rights for the world’s largest container ship have changed hands four times in as many months and keep on shifting again, says a report in the Bloomberg.

Port of San Pedro Seeks to Fund Upgrades with European Roadshow

Ivory Coast's second largest port of San Pedro will hold a roadshow in France and Britain next month as it seeks to raise 180 billion CFA francs ($300 million) to fund upgrades,

Maritime Safety

Jack W. Fisher Passes Away at 73

Jack W Fisher, president of JW Fishers Mfg. passed away at home after a brief illness on February 20, 2015. He was 73 years old.   The JW Fishers business was started because Fisher,

Piracy Still a Big Threat in the Indian Ocean

Underestimating the security risk in the Indian Ocean could put ships in danger once again, says maritime security company MAST Ltd.   “Whilst recent reports

St. Lawrence Seaway Opening Date Pushed Back

Tthe opening date for the St. Lawrence Seaway 2015 navigation season has been delayed following review and consideration of factors and conditions affecting safe

Classification Societies

IACS Comments on MOL Comfort Report

The International Association of Classifications Societies (IACS) informs it will study the final report issued in Japan by the Committee on Large Container Ship Safety (CLCSS),

Tor Svensen: Europe Must Drive Maritime Sector

Europe has a major role to play in driving the maritime industry forward, said Tor Svensen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime, in his keynote speech on innovation at the European Shipping Week in Brussels.

First Subsea Achieves API 17L1 Certification for Bend Stiffener Connectors

Connector technology developer First Subsea has received APL 17LI certification for its bend stiffener connectors from the American Petroleum Institute, the company announced today.

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.2457 sec (4 req/sec)