Major accident hazard
Blackouts and resulting loss of propulsion have long been considered a major accident hazard for the passenger industry. Depending on the operational situation, loss of propulsion may pose an imminent threat to the ship and its passengers and crew. In 2019, 12 incidents were reported that resulted in full/partial blackout on cruise ships. Major incidents may also negatively affect company reputation through global media coverage, impacting earnings, profit and shareholder value.
Causes of blackouts
Blackout occurs when there is a sudden total loss of electric power in the ship’s main power distribution system. This could be caused by various mechanical or electrical failures in the power generation, distribution or propulsion systems, coupled with an ineffective operational response to the failure.
The underlying causes of blackouts can often be traced back to the operation of complex integrated systems.
Today, the industry is pushed to design and implement technical solutions and operations that reduce cost and that are more energy efficient. The complexity of system integration challenges our ability to understand how these systems work. This has become an increasing concern for the whole industry.