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e-CFR data is current as of October 22, 2020

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter LPart 129 → Subpart C

Title 46: Shipping

Subpart C—Power Sources and Distribution Systems

§129.310   Power sources.
§129.315   Power sources for OSVs.
§129.320   Generators and motors.
§129.323   Multiple generators.
§129.326   Dual-voltage generators.
§129.330   Distribution panels and switchboards.
§129.340   Cable and wiring.
§129.350   Batteries—general.
§129.353   Battery categories.
§129.356   Battery installations.
§129.360   Semiconductor-rectifier systems.
§129.370   Equipment grounding.
§129.375   System grounding.
§129.380   Overcurrent protection.
§129.390   Shore power.
§129.395   Radio installations.

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§129.310   Power sources.

(a)(1) Each vessel that relies on electricity to power the following loads must be arranged so that the loads can be energized from at least two sources of electricity:

(i) Any system identified as a vital system in §128.130(a) of this subchapter.

(ii) Interior lights.

(iii) Communication systems.

(iv) Navigational equipment and lights.

(v) Fire-protection equipment.

(2) A vessel with batteries of enough capacity for 3 hours of continuous operation to supply the loads specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, and with a generator or alternator driven by a propulsion engine, complies with paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) Where a generator driven by a propulsion engine is used as a source of electrical power, no speed change, throttle movement, or change in direction of the propeller shaft of the vessel may interrupt power to any of the loads specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

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§129.315   Power sources for OSVs.

(a) The requirements of this section apply to OSVs between 100 GRT and 500 GRT or less than 6,000 GT ITC instead of those in subpart 111.10 of this chapter.

(b) If a generator provides electrical power for any system identified as a vital system by §128.130(a) of this subchapter, at least two power-generating sets must be provided. At least one set must be independent of the main propulsion plant. A generator not independent of the main propulsion plant must comply with §111.10-4(d) of this chapter. With any one generating set stopped, the remaining set or sets must provide the power necessary for the loads required by this section.

[CGD 82-004 and CGD 86-074, 62 FR 49332, Sept. 19, 1997, as amended by USCG-2012-0208, 79 FR 48937, Aug. 18, 2014]

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§129.320   Generators and motors.

(a) Each generator and motor, except a submersible-pump motor, must be—

(1) In an accessible space, adequately ventilated and as dry as practicable; and

(2) Mounted above the bilges to avoid damage by splash and to avoid contact with low-lying vapors.

(b) Each generator and motor must be designed for an ambient temperature of 50 °C (122 °F), except that—

(1) If the ambient temperature, in the space where a generator or motor is, does not exceed 40 °C (104 °F) under normal operating conditions, the generator or motor may be designed for an ambient temperature of 40 °C (104 °F); and

(2) A generator or motor designed for an ambient temperature of 40 °C (104 °F) may be used in a location where the ambient temperature is 50 °C (122 °F), if the generator or motor is derated to 80 percent of the full-load rating and if the rating or setting of the overcurrent devices of the generator or motor is reduced accordingly.

(c) For each generator rated at 50 volts or more, a voltmeter and an ammeter used for measuring voltage and current while the generator is in operation must be provided. For each alternating-current generator, a means for measuring frequency must also be provided. To ensure satisfactory operation of each generator, additional control equipment and measuring instruments, if needed, must also be provided.

(d) Each generator must have a nameplate attached to it indicating—

(1) Name of manufacturer, type of generator, and designation of frame;

(2) Output in kilowatts, or horsepower rating;

(3) Kind of rating (continuous, overload, or other);

(4) Amperes at rated load, voltage, and frequency;

(5) Number of phases, if applicable;

(6) Type of windings, if DC;

(7) When intended for connection in a normally grounded configuration, the grounding polarity; and

(8) For a generator derated to comply with paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the derated capacity.

(e) Each motor must have attached to it a nameplate containing the information required by Article 430 of NFPA 70.

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§129.323   Multiple generators.

If an OSV uses two or more generators to supply electricity for the ship's service loads, to comply with §129.310(a) of this subpart, the following requirements must be met:

(a) Each generator must have an independent prime mover.

(b) The circuit breaker of a generator to be operated in parallel with another generator must comply with §§111.12-11(f), 111.30-19(a), and 111.30-25(d) of this chapter.

(c) The circuit breaker of a generator not to be operated in parallel with another generator must be interlocked to prevent that generator from being connected to the switchboard simultaneously with another.

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§129.326   Dual-voltage generators.

If a dual-voltage generator is installed on an OSV—

(a) The neutral of the dual-voltage system must be solidly grounded at the switchboard's neutral bus and be accessible for checking the insulation resistance of the generator; and

(b) Ground detection must be provided that—

(1) For an alternating-current system, complies with §111.05-27 of this chapter; and

(2) For a direct-current system, complies with §111.05-29 of this chapter.

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§129.330   Distribution panels and switchboards.

(a) Each distribution panel or switchboard must be in a location as dry as practicable, accessible, adequately ventilated, and protected from falling debris and dripping or splashing water.

(b) Each distribution panel or switchboard must be totally enclosed and of the dead-front type.

(c) Each switchboard must have nonconductive handrails.

(d) Each switchboard or main distribution panel must be fitted with a dripshield, unless the switchboard or distribution panel is of a type mounted deck-to-overhead and is not subject to falling objects or liquids from above.

(e) Each distribution panel and switchboard accessible from the rear must be constructed to prevent a person's accidental contact with energized parts.

(f) Working space must be provided around each main distribution panel and switchboard of at least 610 millimeters (24 inches) in front of the switchboard and, of at least 460 millimeters (18 inches) from the nearest bulkhead, stiffener, or frame behind the switchboard. Rear access is prohibited when the working space behind the switchboard is less than 460 millimeters (18 inches).

(g) Nonconductive mats or grating must be provided on the deck in front of each switchboard and, if the switchboard is accessible from the rear, on the deck behind the switchboard.

(h) Each uninsulated current-carrying part must be mounted on noncombustible, nonabsorbent, high-dielectric insulating material.

(i) Equipment mounted on a hinged door of an enclosure must be constructed or shielded so that no person will come into accidental contact with energized parts of the door-mounted equipment when the door is open and the circuit energized.

(j) Bus capacity of switchboards and main distribution panels must be sized in accordance with §111.30-19(a) of this chapter. Panelboards must have current rating of not less than the feeder-circuit capacity.

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§129.340   Cable and wiring.

(a) If individual wires, rather than cables, are used in systems operating at a potential of greater than 50 volts, the wire and associated conduit must be run in a protected enclosure. The protected enclosure must have drain holes to prevent the buildup of condensation.

(b) Each cable and wire must—

(1) Have stranded copper conductors with sufficient current-carrying capacity for the circuit in which it is used;

(2) Be installed so as to avoid or reduce interference with radio reception and compass indication;

(3) Be protected from the weather;

(4) Be supported so as to avoid chafing or other damage;

(5) Be installed without sharp bends;

(6) Be protected by metal coverings or other suitable means, if in areas subject to mechanical abuse;

(7) Be suitable for low temperature and high humidity, if installed in refrigerated compartments;

(8) Be located outside a tank, unless it supplies power to equipment in the tank; and

(9) Have sheathing or wire insulation compatible with the fluid in a tank, when installed to comply with paragraph (b)(8) of this section.

(c) Cable and wire in power and lighting circuits must be #14 AWG or larger. Cable and wire in control and indicator circuits must be #22 AWG or larger, or be ribbon cable or similar, smaller, conductor-size cable recommended by the equipment manufacturer for use in circuits for low-power instrumentation, monitoring, or control.

(d) Cable and wire for power and lighting circuits must—

(1) Comply with Section 310-13 of the NEC (NFPA 70), except that no asbestos-insulated cable or dry-location cable may be used;

(2) Be listed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. as UL Boat or UL Marine Shipboard cable; or

(3) Comply with §111.60-1 of this chapter for cable, and §111.60-11 of this chapter for wire.

(e) Cable and wire serving vital systems listed in §128.130(a) of this subchapter or serving emergency loads must be routed as far as practicable from areas at high risk for fire, such as galleys, laundries, and machinery spaces.

(f) Cable or wire serving duplicated equipment must be separated so that a casualty that affects one cable does not affect the other.

(g) Each connection to a conductor or a terminal part of a conductor must be made within an enclosure and—

(1) Have a pressure-type connector on each conductor;

(2) Have a solder lug on each conductor;

(3) Have a splice made with a pressure-type connector to a flexible lead or conductor; or

(4) Be splice-soldered, brazed, or welded to a flexible lead or conductor.

(h) A connector or lug of the set-screw type must not be used with a stranded conductor smaller than No. 14 AWG, unless there is a nonrotating follower that travels with the set screw and makes pressure contact with the conductor.

(i) Each pressure-type wire connector and lug must comply with UL 486A. No wire nuts may be used.

(j) Each terminal block must have terminal screws 6-32 or larger.

(k) Each wire connector used in conjunction with screw-type terminal blocks must be of the captive type such as the ring or the flanged-spade type.

(l) No cable may be spliced in—

(1) A hazardous location; or

(2) Another location, except—

(i) A cable installed in a subassembly may be spliced to a cable installed in another subassembly;

(ii) For a vessel receiving alterations, a cable may be spliced to extend a circuit;

(iii) A cable of large diameter or exceptional length may be spliced to facilitate its installation.

(iv) A cable may be spliced to replace a damaged section of itself if, before replacement of the damaged section, the insulation resistance of the remainder of the cable is measured, and the condition of the insulation is unimpaired.

(m) All material in a cable splice must be chemically compatible with other material in the splice and with the materials in the cable.

(n) Ampacities for conductors must comply with Section 310-15 of the NEC (NFPA 70), or with IEEE Standard 45, as appropriate.

(o) Each conductor must be sized so that the voltage drop at the load terminals does not exceed 10 percent.

(p) Each metallic covering of armored cable must—

(1) Be electrically continuous; and

(2) Be grounded at each end of the run to the—

(i) Hull (on a metallic vessel); or

(ii) Common ground plate (on a nonmetallic vessel); and

(3) Have final sub-circuits grounded at the supply end only.

(q) Each portable or temporary electric cord or cable must be constructed and used in compliance with the requirements of §111.60-13 of this chapter for flexible electric cord or cable.

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§129.350   Batteries—general.

(a) Wherever a battery is charged, there must be natural or induced ventilation to dissipate the gases generated.

(b) Each battery must be located as high above the bilge as practicable within the space the battery is located in and be secured to protect against shifting due to roll, pitch, and heave motions or vibration of the vessel, and free from exposure to splash or spray of water.

(c) Each battery must be accessible for maintenance and removal.

(d) Each connection to a battery terminal must be made with a permanent connector, rather than with spring clips or other temporary clamps.

(e) Each battery must be mounted in a tray lined with, or constructed of, lead or other material resistant to damage by the electrolyte.

(f) Each battery charger must have an ammeter connected in the charging circuit.

(g) Unless the battery is adjacent to its distribution panel or switchboard that distributes power to the lighting, motor, and appliance circuits, the battery leads must have fuses in series with and as close as practicable to the battery.

(h) Each battery used for starting an engine must be located as close as possible to the engine or engines served.

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§129.353   Battery categories.

This section applies to batteries installed to meet the requirements of §129.310(a) for secondary sources of power to vital loads.

(a) Large. A large battery-installation is one connected to a battery charger having an output of more than 2 kW, computed from the highest possible charging current and rated voltage of the battery installed.

(b) Small. A small battery-installation is one connected to a battery charger having an output of 2 kW or less, computed from the highest possible charging current and rated voltage of the battery installed.

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§129.356   Battery installations.

(a) Large. Each large battery-installation must be located in a locker, room, or enclosed box dedicated solely to the storage of batteries. Ventilation must be provided in accordance with §111.15-10 of this chapter. Electrical equipment located within the battery enclosure must be approved by an independent laboratory for hazardous locations of Class I, Division 1, Group B, and must meet subpart 111.105 of this chapter.

(b) Small. Each small battery-installation must be located in a well-ventilated space and protected from falling objects. No small battery-installation may be in a closet, storeroom, or similar space.

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§129.360   Semiconductor-rectifier systems.

(a) Each semiconductor-rectifier system must have an adequate heat-removal system to prevent overheating.

(b) If a semiconductor-rectifier system is used in a propulsion system or in another vital system, it must—

(1) Have a current-limiting circuit;

(2) Have external overcurrent protection; and

(3) Comply with Sections 4/5.84.2 and 4/5.84.4 of the “Rules for Building and Classing Steel Vessels” of the American Bureau of Shipping.

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§129.370   Equipment grounding.

(a) On a metallic vessel each metallic enclosure and frame of electrical equipment must be permanently grounded to the hull. On a nonmetallic vessel each enclosure and frame of electrical equipment must be bonded to each other and to a common ground by a conductor not normally carrying current.

(b) Each metallic case of instruments must be grounded. So must each secondary winding of instrument transformers.

(c) Each equipment grounding conductor must be sized to comply with section 250-95 of NEC (NFPA 70).

(d) Each nonmetallic mast and topmast must have a lightning-ground conductor.

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§129.375   System grounding.

(a) If a grounded distribution system is provided, there must be only one connection to ground, regardless of the number of power sources. This connection must be at the main switchboard.

(b) On each metallic vessel, a grounded distribution system must be grounded to the hull. On each nonmetallic vessel, the neutral of a grounded system must be connected to a common ground plate, except that no aluminum grounding conductors may be used.

(c) On each nonmetallic vessel with a grounded distribution system, the common ground plate must have—

(1) Only one connection to the main switchboard; and

(2) The connection to itself readily accessible for checking.

(d) On each nonmetallic vessel with a ground plate provided for radio equipment, the plate must be connected to the common ground plate.

(e) Each insulated grounding-conductor of a cable must be identified by one of the following means:

(1) Wrapping of the cable with green braid or green insulation.

(2) Stripping of the insulation from the entire exposed length of the grounding-conductor.

(3) Marking of the exposed insulation of the grounding-conductor with green tape or green adhesive labels.

(f) No vessel's hull may carry current as a conductor except for—

(1) An impressed-current cathodic-protection system; or

(2) A battery system to start an engine.

(g) No cable armor may be used to ground electrical equipment or systems.

(h) Each receptacle outlet and attachment plug, for a portable lamp, tool, or similar apparatus operating at 100 or more volts, must have a grounding-pole and a grounding-conductor in the portable cord.

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§129.380   Overcurrent protection.

(a) Overcurrent protection must be provided for each ungrounded conductor, to open the electric circuit if the current reaches a value that causes an excessive or dangerous temperature in the conductor or its insulation.

(b) Each conductor of a control, interlock, or indicator circuit, such as a conductor for an instrument, pilot light, ground-detector light, or potential transformer, must be protected by an overcurrent device.

(c) Each generator must be protected by an overcurrent device set at a value not exceeding 115 percent of the generator's full-load rating.

(d) Circuits of control systems for steering gear must be protected against short circuit.

(e) Each feeder circuit for steering gear must be protected by a circuit breaker that complies with §§58.25-55(a) and (b) of this chapter.

(f) Each branch circuit for lighting must be protected against overcurrent by either fuses or circuit breakers. Neither the fuses nor the circuit breakers may be rated at more than 30 amperes.

(g) Each conductor must be protected in accordance with its current-carrying capacity. If the allowable current-carrying capacity does not correspond to a standard size of device, the next larger overcurrent device may be used, provided it is less than 150 percent of the conductor's current-carrying capacity.

(h) An overcurrent device must be installed to protect each motor conductor and control apparatus against overcurrent due to short circuit or ground fault. Each overcurrent device must be capable of carrying the starting current of the motor.

(i) An emergency switch must be provided in each normally ungrounded main supply conductor from a battery. The switch must be accessible from the battery and located as close as practicable to it.

(j) No grounded conductor of a circuit may be disconnected by a switch or circuit breaker unless the ungrounded conductors are all simultaneously disconnected.

(k) A means of disconnect must be provided on the supply side of and adjacent to each fuse, to de-energize the fuse for inspection and maintenance.

(l) A way for locking the means of disconnect open must be provided unless the means of disconnect for a fused circuit is within sight of the equipment that the circuit supplies.

(m) Each fuse must be of the cartridge type and be listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or another independent laboratory recognized by the Commandant.

(n) Each circuit breaker must meet UL 489 and be of the manually-reset type designed for—

(1) Inverse delay;

(2) Instantaneous short-circuit protection; and

(3) Switching duty if the breaker is used as a switch.

(o) Each circuit breaker must indicate whether it is open or closed.

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§129.390   Shore power.

Each vessel that has an electrical system operating at more than 50 volts and has provisions for receiving shore power must meet the requirements of this section:

(a) A shore-power-connection box or receptacle must be permanently installed at a convenient location.

(b) A cable connecting the shore-power-connection box or receptacle to the switchboard or main distribution panel must be permanently installed.

(c) A circuit breaker must be provided at the switchboard or main distribution panel for the shore-power connection.

(d) The circuit breaker, required by paragraph (c) of this section, must be interlocked with the feeder circuit breakers for the vessel's power sources to preclude the vessel's power sources and shore power from energizing the vessel's switchboard simultaneously, except in cases where system devices permit safe momentary paralleling of OSV power with shore power.

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§129.395   Radio installations.

A separate circuit, with overcurrent protection at the switchboard, must be provided for at least one radio installation. Additional radios, if installed, may be powered from a local lighting power source, such as the pilothouse lighting panel, provided each radio power source has a separate overcurrent protection device.

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