The Electric Training Lab
Cadets aboard the TS Kennedy often reflect back to their first lesson in electricity. They recall the excitement of building series and parallel circuits in elementary school. That's where it began!
That same excitement is felt by 1/C Marine Engineering majors as they learn in the TS Kennedy’s Electrical Training Lab.
In 2018, two new lab exercises and two new motor control stations were added. The original lab consisted of four single phase motor control center (MCC) stations and four variable frequency drive (VFD) and programmable logic control (PLC) stations. A fifth MCC, VFD and PLC system was also added.
Those stations teach senior Marine Engineers how to correctly wire and operate single and three phase electric motors. Additionally, they learn how to program a PLC motor controller and VFD, both electronic control systems used throughout industry. Not only do these systems allow for precise computer control of machinery, they also provide energy efficient solutions for equipment.
The labs include a ground fault detection system and a phase rotation system. In a home, an electrical ground is detected by a circuit breaker or ground fault receptacle like those found in bathrooms and kitchens. A shipboard electrical system is different from a residential system and utilizes a ground fault detection system to identify faults. This lab teaches the concept and operation of the ground fault system.
The phase rotation lab provides students the ability to understand how a three phase Electrical system creates a rotating magnetic field in a motor, and how they can use that to cause a motor to run in both the forward and reverse directions. The lab includes the ability to wire and trouble shoot a three phase motor and use phase rotation meters to establish correct operating parameters.
All of the labs also allow students to demonstrate STCW based learning objectives as required by the USCG. The labs were designed and built by CDR's William Haynes, Carlos Montanez, and Alan Gillis, all Engineering Department faculty. Funding for the labs was provided by MMA, The MMA Chief Engineer's Foundation, and the Facilities and Marine Engineering Foundation.
Voyage Data Recorder
Several FTV-STX participants have asked if the TS Kennedy is equipped with a black box, similar to the ones carried on airplanes.
The photo below shows the TS Kennedy's Voyage Data Recorder (VDR). All passenger ships are required to carry a VDR. Like a black box on an airplanes, a VDR allows investigators to review the procedures and instructions given prior to an accident. Using this information, investigators may be able to determine the cause of the accident.
The TS Kennedy's VDR maintains data for a minimum of twelve hours. Information from the ship's GPS, its gryro compass, and its speed log are all recorded. The VDR saves radar images, as well as VHF and Bridge audio.
The orange capsule is attached to 50 meters of cable and will give off a single for a minimum of ninety days.
This small, light capsule is secured to the deck above the Bridge. It measures 19.7 inches wide, 10.2 inches high, and 11.8 inches deep. The weight is fifty-five pounds.
We hope that this critical piece of safety equipment will never be used.
I'm wondering if the MMA Cadets and Faculty traveling, working and studying around the world will have an opportunity to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday?