GMDSS batteries with an automatic charger or an uninterruptible power supply can be provided as a reserve source of electrical energy.
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A reserve source or sources of energy shall be provided on every ship, to supply radio installations, for the purpose of conducting distress and safety radiocommunications, in the event of failure of the ship’s main and emergency sources of electrical power. A reserve source or sources of energy must provide simultaneous operation of the radio equipment depending on the sea area or sea areas for which the ship is equipped, for at least a period of time:
- 1 h on ships provided with an emergency source of electrical power
- 6 h on ships not provided with an emergency source of electrical power
The reserve source or sources of energy may be used to supply the electrical lighting fitted in the GMDSS console (regulation 6.2.4.).
Where a reserve source of energy consists of a rechargeable accumulator battery or batteries:
- a means of automatically charging such batteries shall be provided which shall be capable of recharging them to minimum capacity requirements within 10 h; and
For guidance, the following formula is recommended for determining the electrical load to be supplied by the reserve source of energy for each radio installation required for distress conditions: 1/2 of the current consumption necessary for transmission + the current consumption necessary for reception + the current consumption of any additional loads.
- the capacity of the battery or batteries shall be checked, using an appropriate method,* at intervals not exceeding 12 months, when the ship is not at sea.
*One method of checking the capacity of an accumulator battery is to fully discharge and recharge the battery, using normal operating current and period (e.g. 10 h). Assessment of the charge condition can be made at any time, but it should be done without significant discharge of the battery when the ship is at sea.
*Sale and maintenance of various GMDSS batteries from many manufacturers are possible.