Engineering Knowledge Level I Exam Guide

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The Engineering Knowledge Level I (EKI) examination consists of a written test comprising multiple-choice, descriptive and drawing questions. The examination is of a two hours duration. The Engineering Knowledge Level II exam may be substituted for EK 1 at the applicant’s request. The examination is based upon:

Subject Knowledge Required
Competence Operate Small Ship Power Plants
The operation of small ship power plants and auxiliaries Operating principles of Marine power plants:
Diesel engines 2-stroke diesel cycle; 4-stroke diesel cycle; The cause of scavenge fires and how they are dealt with; Methods of supercharging; The fuel oil system from bunker tank to injection; The lubrication system; Engine cooling water system; The advantages and disadvantages of a medium speed diesel; The need for gearing with medium-speed diesels; The arrangement of clutch and gears; Preparing diesel engine for stand-by; The method of starting and reversing a diesel engine;Propeller and propeller shaft
Knowledge of construction and arrangement of a water-lubricated and oil-lubricated type stern tube; Major components of transmission systems; Construction and working principles of a thrust block; Construction and working principles of a shaft bearing; Arrangement of intermediate shafts; Construction and fitting arrangement of a fixed propeller to the tail shaft; Working principles of a controllable pitch propeller. Knowledge of the method of checking the pitch of a propeller; How the propeller transfers shaft power into thrust; Relationship between pitch and power; Operation of a typical CPP system.

Bridge control
Knowledge of the sequence of operation of bridge control for the main engine; Imposed conditions and essentials for critical speed and reversing of main engines; Essential elements of a control system; Arrangements for a manual override; Indicators and alarms provided with bridge control; Arrangement and operations of lateral thrusters; Bridge control and indicators for lateral thrusters.

Ship’s auxiliary machinery:
Boilers
Ability to distinguish between water-tube and fire tube boilers; Describe auxiliary boilers; Describe a waste-heat boiler; Describe exhaust-gas heat exchangers; Describe steam to steam generators and explain where and why they are used; Describe a boiler fuel oil supply system; Describe the effect of dissolved salts in the feed water and how it is treated; What is meant by priming.

Distillation and Fresh-water Systems:
Distillation system; Treatment of fresh water intended for drinking; Domestic water system.

Pumps and Pumping system
Knowledge of the principles of operation and application of centrifugal, positive displacement, gear, screw and reciprocating-piston type pumps in the machinery space or pump room of a modern ship; Knowledge of bilge systems, ballast systems, cargo piping systems and oily water separators.

The operation of small ship power plants and auxiliaries Generators, Alternators and Electrical distribution
Operation of an alternator; Functioning of induction motors; The relative advantages and disadvantages of generation and distribution of D.C. and A.C.; D.C. and A.C. distribution systems; The use of circuit breakers and fuses; Ability to draw and describe a navigation light circuit with indicators and alarm, showing an alternative power supply; The use of rectifiers; The characteristics of lead-acid batteries and of alkaline batteries; The maintenance of batteries; Safety precautions; The safety precautions to be observed for battery compartments; The services to be supplied from the emergency generator; Knowledge of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) for computer and control system, operation and preventive maintenance. Stabilizers Construction and operation of fin stabilizers; Arrangement and operation of a flume stabilizer.Sewage Treatment Plants
Operation of a chemical sewage treatment plant; Operation of a biological sewage treatment plant.Oily-water separators and oil filtering equipment
Construction and operation of oil filtering equipment (producing effluent that contains not more than 15 ppm / 5 ppm of oil); How an oil-content meter functions; Oil discharge monitoring and control system.

Deck machinery
Knowledge of general arrangement of deck machinery, main drivers used on deck auxiliaries, anchor handling equipment, windlass arrangement, automatic and manual mooring winches; Cargo handling arrangements including derrick rig systems, heavy lifting system, deck cranes, cargo cranes, grabbing cranes, self-unloading systems, hatches including types of mechanically-operated hatch covers; Lifeboat davits.

Hydraulic systems
Distinguish between open- and closed-loop systems; Ability to describe a live-line circuit supplied by a centralized hydraulic power system; Radial-piston and axial-piston variable- stroke pumps; How the variable-stroke pump can act as controller and power supply; Ability to sketch and describe a simple spool valve with shutoff and control of flow direction; Ram and rotary- vane actuators; Hydraulic accumulator and its purpose.

Air receivers
Knowledge of the function, limitations and purpose of air receivers and fittings; Dangers associated with and precautions that must be taken when using an air receiver.

The operation of small ship power plants and auxiliaries Fire Detection and extinguishing system
Knowledge of smoke and heat detectors; Fire extinguishing systems; Inert-gas smothering system;
CO2 as a fire smothering agent, rules and regulations for operation of CO2 system, CO2 flooding system for cargo holds, CO2 total flooding system for machinery space, CO2 activation alarm system, bulk CO2 system under refrigeration; Fire extinguishing mediums, when and how to use them; Fire alarms, manually operated, fire alarm switches, shut off machinery spaces, remote stations; Emergency shut off device on fuel tanks; Main fire pumps, emergency fire pumps; Fire mains, valve used on a hydrant; Purpose of international shore connection; Hydrants and hoses; Reasons why hoses are tested.Depth measuring instruments
Knowledge of pneumercator gauge, float tank gauge, distant reading tank float gauge; Effects of trim and heelVessels operating in ice
Knowledge of machinery operation considerations when navigating in ice and in cold temperatures below freezing point

General Knowledge:
Engineering terms
Ability to use engineering terms when describing and explaining the operation of the machinery and equipment mentioned above; Definition of mass, force, work, power, energy, pressure, stress, strain, and heat; Units in which each is measured; What is meant by the efficiency of machine.

Vibration
Knowledge of major sources of vibration in ships; Natural vibration, forced vibration and resonance.

Materials
Knowledge of effects of temperature on metals; Principles of galvanic corrosion on a vessel; Method of cathodic protection; How design and maintenance can alleviate considerable corrosion on marine vessels.

Unlike other exams, study materials are not permitted.

Recommended Books

Reeds Marine Engineering Series
This series of books is an excellent and thorough guide to marine engineering. Not every volume is applicable to this exam, however. These are available in softcover and are the latest edition.

Volume 1: Mathematics for Engineers
Volume 2: Applied Mechanics for Engineers
Volume 3: Applied Heat for Engineers
Volume 6: Basic Electrotechnology for Engineers
Volume 7: Advanced Electrotechnology for Engineers
Volume 8: General Engineering Knowledge
Volume 9: Steam Engineering Knowledge for Marine Engineers
Volume 10: Instrumentation and Control Systems
Volume 12: Motor Engineering Knowledge for Marine Engineers

Volume 13: Ship Stability, Powering and Resistance

Engineering Knowledge (Motor) for Marine Engineers Questions & Answers
Ritinkar Zen
Part I and Part II
Written by a marine engineer, for the marine engineer, this book contains a collection of questions and answers for the written paper on Engineering Knowledge (Motor) including cooling, starting and reversing, governor overspeed trip and much more. Very helpful for those preparing for the certificate of competency examination

A Pocket Book of Marine Engineering: Questions and Answers
WSIL
Available as Softcover and Ebook
The bold headings make it easy to locate a particular topic, and the clear and concise answers are ideal for revision and self-testing purposes. Covers Safety; Materials; Auxiliary machinery; Engine room systems; Ship construction; Steering gear; Shafting; Electrical; Electrical protection; Electrical safety; Instrumentation and control; Diesel engine theory and structure; Fuel systems; Combustion; Librication; Starting and manoeuvring safety; Boilers.

The Diesel Engines: For Ship Propulsion and Power Plants
Kees Kuiken
2nd ed. A two-volume book on diesel engines intended for all who work with diesel engines for maritime propulsion and power generation. Volume I covers history, standard figurations, fuel-delivery systems, lubrication, air supply, speed control, noise, vibration, and main uses. Volume II covers ship propulsion, transmissions, manufacturers, emission issues, fuel calculation, auxiliary systems, reconditioning, maintenance and repairs, casting and forging engine parts, propellers, regulations, and more.

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