Compliance, operability and reducing OPEX are at the forefront of all shipowners’ minds.
There is an array of Ballast Water Treatment Systems [BWTS] on the market, but effectiveness in real-world conditions can vary wildly.
The most popular systems include: Full-flow electro-chlorination technology, ultra-violet technologies, side-stream ballast water systems and filterless systems. But according to Clarksons Research (August 2020), 46% of the market has installed electro-chlorination BWTS.
ERMA FIRST passionately believes a full-flow electro-chlorination proposition is the best all-round offering, both in terms of effectiveness and reducing OPEX.
A two-pronged attack
The ERMA FIRST FIT BWTS comprises of a filter stage, followed by full flow electro-chlorination. Sea water is used in the disinfection stage to generate the requisite amount of disinfectant through the electrolysis of the filtered ballast water. The ERMA FIRST FIT BWTS system also employs special
electrodes that allow a broad environmental envelope of operation, while offering flexible solutions for both safe area and hazardous zone installation.
Water salinity and clarity can seriously affect the ability of a BWTS to work to its full potential. However, a full-flow electro-chlorination system - which is supported by filtration - can manage large volumes quickly with low power consumption. Turbidity and low ultraviolet transmissivity do not present the same challenges to an electro-chlorination system as they ordinarily would to a UV system.
"Not only does the ERMA FIRST FIT BWTS need minimal power requirements, it also doesn’t take up valuable cargo space," said Konstantinos Stampedakis, managing director at ERMA FIRST. "It’s designed to be installed quickly and includes intelligent controls and artificial intelligence for real-time remote monitoring.”
The system is designed to deliver compliance for ships trading globally and has
been uniquely tested and certified with three different 40µm basket filters. Each filter’s performance has been proven in conjunction with the specially designed electro-chlorination cells. The achieved bio-efficacy meets and exceeds the dis-charge standards as defined by the International Maritime Organisation [IMO] and United States Coast Guard [USCG].
Focusing on OPEX
BWTS contributes to ship operational expenditure either directly or indirectly. BWTS power consumption is a direct OPEX. A stay in port due to BWTS flow restrictions in challenging water conditions would be regarded as an indirect cost.
Reduced UV intensity due to ageing UV lamps and quartz sleeves is an important example because it impacts UV dose, where flow reduction and/or power ramp up are resultant countermeasures. Operational modes designed to deal with specific operational challenges, in addition to system design limitations (SDL), provide a reasonable indication of factors that contribute to BWTS OPEX.
"With UV and electro-chlorination BWTS, there are significant OPEX differences between these two types of systems," said ERMA FIRST chief technology officer Stelios Kyriacou.
"For a BWTS operating in seawater conditions with low water turbidity, a filter-UV system will be operating at the lower level of power as UV transmittance is high (>70%). An equivalent filter-EC system will also operate at low power levels due to favourable salinity conditions. However, the key difference is electro-chlorination system operates only on ballasting, a UV system is also used at de-ballasting hence the power related costs are significantly higher."
For more information on ERMA FIRST solutions please visit ermafirst.com