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Unrestricted operation

The world is the same, why should you run your BWTS in different modes?

Case study: UV BWTS restrictions to tramp trade

In the tramp trade, a ship’s itinerary can be dynamically changed without warning to accommodate new chartering arrangements.

Let’s consider a scenario where a ship fitted with a two operation modes Filter+UV BWTS (the majority of UV-based systems) has been discharging cargo in Panama and ballasting for the next port of call in Mexico. Whilst the ship is on its way to Mexico for the next cargo, it is ordered to divert to the US instead. The ship in Panama, following the Ballast Water Management Plan, would ballast using the IMO mode of the BWTS. The call to divert to the USA is problematic, as the ballast water on board has not been treated in accordance with the maker’s instructions and system Type Approval certificate.

In order for the ship to discharge ballast in the US, it will have to undertake a ballast exchange operation and re-ballast while operating the BWTS in USCG mode.

Having received the instruction to divert to the US, a ship fitted with an ERMA FIRST FIT will have no issue. Unlike the case of UV treatment, the ballast water on board will be compliant irrespective of departure port. ERMA FIRST uses reliable electro-chlorination treatment that delivers compliance globally for operations in both IMO and USCG regulated ports.

In a second scenario, let us take a ship operating in the estuary of New Brunswick on the US east coast, an area with low-quality waters. Brackish waters with low UVT will present serious challenges for a vessel hoping to complete ballasting at a normal rate, as there will be a critical flow-reduction. This is because the UVT will restrict the flow through the UV system.

In the same situation, a ship utilising ERMA FIRST technology will not be impacted by the brackish low UVT water because the system is able to operate in all water qualities. In situ, electro-chlorination provides a sustainable and low power demand ballast water treatment. For a better illustration of these scenarios please refer to ERMA FIRST YouTube channel.

Power consumption

ERMA FIRST FIT BWTS has optimised power consumption, leading into a very low-level average. The power application is constantly adjusted according to the given concentrations of the in situ produced chlorine. At the same time, the high efficiency power supplies - along with the design and materials selected on electrolysers - reduces any unnecessary power losses. Moreover, 'same operational mode' covers all kinds of waters and IMO or USCG regulations.

Ease of installation

The system's major components are installed on the main ballast line network and they simply become part of it - especially the ERMA FIRST Electrolytic Cell as it fixes to the ballast line due to its geometry. By optimising in this way, the available installation space is fully utilised. Because of system’s modular design and the components installation flexibility and variety, ideal installation solutions can be easily found - especially for retrofitting. In addition, the system's unique design enables forward installation for retrofit and new building projects with a reduced number of components, cables and pipes. Only minimum modifications are required in retrofit cases where most of the existing piping remains intact. This, in turn, results in lower installation costs.

Ease of operation

Once the operator has chosen the corresponding mode on the control panel, the rest is handled by the system itself. Parameters such as flow rate excess, produced TRO and chlorine neutralisation are constantly adjusted by the system’s automat set up. Our recently developed remote monitoring operation and AI data analysis brings BWTS operation experience to another level.

Ease of maintenance

Easy and inexpensive compared to most technologies - especially the system’s major components. The electrolytic cell has no moving parts and no spare parts, which keeps maintenance requirements to the absolute minimum levels. Any necessary work can easily be carried out by the vessel’s crew.

No chemicals – no lamps

Unlike systems that require patented chemicals to be carried on board or expensive mercury filled lamps, FIT BWTS produces the active substance in situ by harnessing chlorine from sodium chloride found in sea water. As a result, impractical procurement of materials is avoided and ballast treatment becomes an organic component of the vessel’s operation. The only chemicals involved in our system are TRO sensor reagents - which are easily obtained worldwide - and sodium bisulphite (used as a neutralising agent). The need for neutralising agent can be as low as 3 ml per m3, so a small amount needs to be on board at any given time.