Today, most product tankers rely on submersible cargo pumps. This design eliminates the need for a pump room, maximizing the available cargo space
However, the lack of pump room has posed a challenge for ships that need to install new equipment to meet ballast water treatment regulations. One solution is to install a plug-and-play system topside in a deckhouse. This simplifies design and retrofitting processes, while ensuring reliable compliance for tankers.
“Tankers are a special challenge when it comes to ballast water treatment,” says Vikas Laul, Technical Director at VSL Marine Technology, an engineering company specialized in ballast water treatment systems. “There’s seldom enough space in a pump room, if there is one, which means the system must be placed on deck.”
These reasons led Alfa Laval to develop standard deckhouse solutions for its Alfa Laval PureBallast 3 Ex ballast water treatment systems. Each deckhouse is delivered as a pre-assembled solution, including the PureBallast 3 Ex system and all internal piping and wiring, for easy integration into the vessel. If needed, a booster pump unit can be integrated to ensure sufficient pressure without modifications to the existing ballast pumping system.
“Not only do PureBallast 3 deckhouses solve our engineering issues by providing a plug-and-play solution, they also reduce the work to be done by a shipyard,” Laul adds.
Compliance takes more than a container
Laul notes, however, that it involves a lot more than just moving an existing ballast water treatment system topside. “The deckhouse is tied to compliance, so it can’t be just a box on deck,” he explains. “It has to provide the right conditions for the system to do its job – whether the vessel is in the tropics or the North Sea.”
PureBallast 3 Ex deckhouses secure those conditions in a variety of ways. Far more than standard containers, they are constructed from durable marine-grade steel and installed on fixed rails. Moreover, they comprise insulation, heating and ventilation that keep the system temperature stable.
“A PureBallast 3 Ex deckhouse is structurally designed for heavy sea loads, so it offers peace of mind for owners and crew when the vessel encounters rough weather,” says Laul. “With its strategically assembled internal equipment, it also makes troubleshooting and maintenance a very smooth process. More than a set of walls around the ballast water treatment system, the deckhouse is an integrated solution to the tanker’s needs.”
No pump modifications needed
For tankers whose existing pumps are insufficient to lift the ballast water to deck level, a PureBallast 3 Ex deckhouse can even incorporate a purposed-designed booster pump unit (BPU). The BPU, which has been validated for tankers with Framo ballast pumps, ensures sufficient head for effective filter backflushing.
“The fully equipped deckhouse can simply be hoisted onto the vessel and connected, without pump modifications or other major changes to the equipment on board,” says Laul. “It makes our job and the work at the shipyard easier.”
Smooth projects and installations
VSL Marine Technology has so far engineered six PureBallast 3 Ex systems in deckhouses. Not only has the engineering itself been less complicated, the installation of those systems has been remarkably efficient. The most recent project, a 1500 m3/h system for an oil tanker, took only 24 days to install from start to finish.
“Getting systems onto tankers has become incredibly smooth,” says Laul. “The deckhouse quality and design match the high performance of PureBallast 3 as a whole. As always with Alfa Laval, customers are in good hands.”
To learn more about Alfa Laval PureBallast technology and the PureBallast 3 Ex deckhouse solutions, watch our video below and visit www.alfalaval.com/pureballast