Interpower have proudly designed and manufactured the emergency generator to accompany the recently commissioned NATO submarine rescue package.
The containerised generator sits alongside the submersible, and decompression chambers, on the aft of the rescue vessel should a submarine be lost at sea, as the Russian submarine the Kursk was in August 2000.
The specification, which was one of the more demanding that Interpower have had to meet, called for a unit that could withstand 7m waves breaking over it, incorporate a CO2 fire suppression system, meet the offshore lifting requirements of DNV2.7/1, was to be built and tested to Lloyds marine standards, and had to be light enough for transportation by military aircraft.
One of the challenges in designing the custom built DNV container, was allowing enough air through the enclosure to cool the generator without the ingress of water. Creating wet and dry compartments within the container, Interpower's design kept the engine compartment dry, without compromise to the cooling performance required on a generator which could be deployed anywhere in the world with just a few hours notice.
Incorporating a Lloyds approved CO2 fire suppression system was another challenge, as an approved system had never been designed for such an application. Spring louvers, specialist door gaskets, and complex control technology ensure the containment of the gas within the container should there ever be a suppression discharge.
Added to these challenges were the requirements to get the exhaust a safe distance from personnel on the vessel, and the electrical power out while water was washing over the deck, all in a package which could not exceed the dimensions of an 8ft high ISO shipping cube, with a maximum weight of 13.5 tonnes.
Interpower were awarded the contract based on detailed presentations, and design work carried out at the tender stage, with the customer stating
"...it was decided during the presentation that the preferred supplier would be yourselves, whilst there were a number of compliant bids, it was decided that Interpower best understood the challenges that would come out of the contract, and would be best placed to provide engineering solutions..."
Interpower are also providing the ongoing service contract, which will run for the life of the generator while it is in service, further guaranteeing the reliability of this critical emergency backup generator.