Thermal Protection and Microclimate of SOLAS Approved Lifeboats

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ConferenceOMAE2010, 29th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering, June 6-11, 2010, Shanghai, China
Pages# of pages: 9
SubjectLifeboat; Thermal protection; microclimate; ventilation; heat stress; cold stress; heat loss
AbstractLifeboats are used as an evacuation system on a wide variety of offshore structures and marine vehicles. Currently, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Lifesaving Appliances (LSA) Code does not specify thermal protection and ventilation criteria for lifeboats. A test program was conducted to assess the system thermal protection and microclimate of SOLAS approved lifeboats for the Arctic environment. Some of the research findings of the first phase experiments are reported in this paper. In conducting experiments with a 72-person SOLAS approved lifeboat, the study found that the lifeboat only had a ventilation rate of 2 litres per second with vents open only, which may not be adequate. Inadequate ventilation will result in high concentration of carbon dioxide, causing headache, dizziness, restlessness, breathing difficulty, sweating, and increased heart rate, cardiac output and blood pressure. All of these may adversely affect lifeboat occupants in performing survival tasks. Using a thermal manikin, only slight decrease in thermal resistance (less than 10%) was observed in many test cases, when active ventilation was implemented (ventilation rate of 31 and 42 litres per second) and when side hatches were opened (ventilation rate of 95 litres per second). This suggests that reasonable increase in ventilation rate may be implemented without trading off much in thermal protection. However, a more noticeable decreases in thermal resistance (15% to over 30%) were observed when clothing was wet. This suggests it is critical to stay dry. A mathematical model was also developed to assess heat and cold stress of lifeboat occupants under different environment, lifeboat, occupant and ventilation conditions.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Ocean Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number17653025
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Record identifieree6bb369-c1f8-4621-82f9-f9197237e414
Record created2011-03-31
Record modified2016-05-09
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