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As per the rules the Cargo holds mechanical ventilation system should be able to do 6 to 10 air changes/Hour (depending on the provided grade of explosion protection required).
In case of Roll-on/Roll-off vessels increased ventilation capacity of at least 20 air changes/hour is required during vehicle roll on/roll off operation (as the vehicles generate plenty of their Exhaust smoke and it can get accumulate if not taken out fast) .
The holds of most dry cargo ships are ventilated by a mechanical supply and natural exhaust system. Here the objective is to reduce the hold temperatures if necessary and prevent large amounts of condensation accumulating on the hull and cargo (sweating).
Often the cargo hold fans which are of the axial type are located in the mast houses and/or derrick posts, and are used to ventilate the tween deck and holds.
Dry cargo ships may also be fitted with de-humidification facilities and this controls supply of Conditioned Dry Air to the Holds(For example,loading of perishable cargo in the Holds of reefer ships).
If dry air is desired when the weather dew-point temperature(The dew-point temperature is the temperature at which the air can no longer "hold" all of the water vapor which is mixed with it, and some of the water vapor must condense into liquid water. The dew point is always lower than (or equal to) the air temperature) approaches or is above the temperature in the hold, the air supply or recirculating air may be drawn through a conditioning plant where it comes into contact with a moisture absorbing solution. A dry air fan then passes this de-humidified air to the cargo hold ventilation system.
A Simple sketch of ventilation system (duct and the supply fan) for a dry cargo ship is shown below.