Marine Growth Prevention System Help Keep Ship Systems Clean
A variety of marine organisms make their living by filtering nutrients and dead organic particles from water and then metabolizing them into food. Algae, mollusks, and sponges all make their living by trapping and filtering microscopic debris in sea water. While some of these organisms float freely, they can attach and grow on any solid surface. This is a huge problem for ships that can reduce efficiency in many systems.
Most vessels pump sea water through pipes in order to cool off the engine or to provide refrigeration to cabins or to condense hot water. While cold seawater is a valuable resource, the presence of warmth and flowing water creates an attractive environment for some marine organisms. They attach as microscopic particles and grow into substantial colonies.
This trait is called biofouling, and has the potential to clog and even ruin a variety of systems. If an engine depends on rapidly flowing coolant, it might overheat and become destroyed. Even if heat can be managed by other means, the reduced circulation reduces efficiency and engine capacity. Biofouling can wreck moving parts that pump seawater or depend on it as a hydraulic fluid.
No ship is immune to this scourge: If it pumps sea water and is a habitable warmth, some species will thrive their. Nuclear vessels are the most advanced ships on earth, but are more prone to marine growth because of their enormous dependence on sea water to disperse heat. The only viable solution is to deter organisms from attaching, and effective technology to do this is called a Marine Growth Prevention System.
These systems do not release poisons like chlorine, because sea water is quickly dumped back into the ocean. Marine Growth Prevention Systems use an electric charge and ionized metal particles to deter the biomechanisms to species that like to anchor to surfaces. Sacrificial anodes are used on the hull to prevent rusting, and a similar device encourages mollusks and sponges to weaken their grip.
Copper and aluminum ions are not toxic, but are not attractive to sea life. Sources of mild electricity in the water normally belongs to organisms with nervous systems, which often turn out to be predators. Few if any organisms use copper or aluminum in their biology, and so these ions create an alien environment in pipes even though there might only be a few particles per billion molecules of water.
The ionizing anodes are also sacrificial anodes in fact, because they attract corrosion away from steel or nickle pipe lining. This double service helps to preserve the life of pipes and cooling systems for many years. Some electricity is used, but amount needed is minute compared to all that is produced by the ship’s engines. A new engine is far more costly than a few watt hours every day.
Marine Growth Prevention Systems were dumb in the past, but today are much smarter thanks to integrated control systems. This technology is a source of both industrial interest and professional employment. Anyone wanting to learn more should click here for advanced marine growth prevention system information.