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Ballast water management systems

The right BWMS for each ship

Nowadays dramatic examples of the devastation caused by invasive species on the marine wildlife are all too easy to find. The most effective way to limit the spread of ballast water invasive species is to prevent their introduction.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced in 2004 the Ballast Water Code (BWC) to address the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments for all sea going ships greater than 400gt using ballast water.

The BWMC entered into force 8th September 2017. Ships are required to manage their ballast tanks to remove or render harmless the ballast water discharge of invasive species.

The BWMS that keeps you safe and sound

For any ship owner and ship designer around the world, the question of safety is of the utmost importance. The potential risks and dangers posed by any installed equipment on a vessel need to be minimised as far as possible. As such, Ballast Water Management Systems using electrolytic chlorination units must be demonstrably safe when in use. At Wärtsilä, we know that the equipment we supply is fundamentally safe.

Background

Recently, the UK Health and Safety Executive issued a safety alert for ballast water treatment systems using electrolytic chlorination units, after an explosion in a semi-submersible installation. Electrolytic chlorination feeds an electrical current to the ballast seawater. During this process Chlorine, Sodium Hypochlorite, Sodium Hydroxide, Hydrogen and other chemical compounds are formed in the chamber through which the ballast seawater passes. Therefore, a pressure-safe operation is vital.

If you are an owner and/or operator using similar units, then it is highly recommended to carry out a risk assessment of your equipment. This can be done, for example, via a hazard and operability study (HAZOP).

Peace of mind

The importance of avoiding any equipment that poses a security risk cannot be emphasized enough. Peace of mind should be central to any decision to install or retrofit a BWMS EC system.

With the Wärtsilä AQUARIUS® EC BWMS system, explosion hazards are eliminated. Our system is able to pass all hazard assessments, since operational safety has been a fundamental design element from the start.

Why is the Wärtsilä AQUARIUS® EC BWMS safe to use

The Wärtsilä AQUARIUS® EC BWMS cannot explode under normal operation because the engineering design and control system functionality has been designed to prevent this from ever happening.

HAZOP and the Wärtsilä AQUARIUS® EC BWMS design

The basis of the fundamental engineering design and control system design incorporated into the Wärtsilä AQUARIUS® EC BWMS is the conclusion of a hazard and operability study (HAZOP) on the system design and operation. Below is a summary of the HAZOP part aimed at identifying the possible causes, possible hazards and design requirements to mitigate hazards associated with NO FLOW through the electrolysis cells.

Keyword

NO FLOW

Possible causes

  • Sea chest or sea water holding tank actuated valve V50 or V53 failed CLOSED
  • Feed pump failure
  • Control valve V7 failed CLOSED
  • Flow meter FIT2 failure
  • Manual isolation valve V23 CLOSED
  • Blockage in the pipe

Main possible hazard consequences

  • If electrical current is still being applied to the electrolysis cells then there may be hydrogen gas accumulation in the side stream and electrolysis cells
  • If electrical current is still being applied to the electrolysis cells then there may be a temperature increase of the water and hydrogen gas in the side stream and electrolysis cells
  • If steam is still being applied to the heat exchanger there may be a temperature increase of the water and hydrogen gas in the side stream and electrolysis cells

Design requirements incorporated into the Wärtsilä AQUARIUS® EC BWMS to mitigate hazards

  • All actuated valves to have position switches installed. BWMS control system to shut down or prevent system starting if all actuated valves are NOT in their design operating position.
  • All pump MCB’s to give feedback to the BWMS control system. The BWMS control system to shut down or prevent the system starting if feed pumps are not functional.
  • All process instrumentation (including FIT2) to generate a FAULT signal, if they have failed or lost electrical power. The BWMS control system to shut down or prevent the system starting if any process instrumentation is not functional.
  • Manual isolation valve V23 to have a physical lock and key to prevent unintended CLOSE.
  • If the flow rate measured by FIT2 is less than 50% of the design flow rate, the BWMS control system NOT to allow the DC rectifier to operate / NOT allow current to the electrolysis cells.
  • The DC rectifier must NOT be able to operate manually – i.e. NOT be able to override the BWMS control system and operate the rectifier without BWMS control system safety interlocks.
  • If the flow rate measured by FIT2 is less than 50% of the design flow rate, the BWMS control system NOT to allow V30 to open and feed steam to the heat exchanger.

Six simple steps to compliance

Our simple, six step solution to help meet legislation and reduce your impact on the marine environment. What at first appears to be complex, risky and costly is made feasible by our solution.

Thanks to our in-house engineering capabilities, we work with you from the very first enquiry right through to the successful delivery and installation of the system, providing ongoing product lifecycle support. Our project execution capacity makes us one of few partners offering a complete scope. Our retrofitting options range from equipment only to complete engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) projects.

As the entire scope is offered by one partner, the quality, efficiency, communication, flexibility and integration are improved. Wärtsilä provides an integrated solution, with extensive experience in project management and delivery execution.

Initial phase
  • Data collection: ship details and operating profile
  • Price indications (previous projects)
  • Technology choice and selection
Concept
  • Ship survey
  • Equipment configuration
  • Concept/GA interfacing verifications
  • CAPEX/OPEX estimates
  • Project outline
  • Feasibility report and proposal
Basic engineering
  • 3D Scanning
  • Preliminary approvals
  • Final project plan
  • Sub-contractors selection
  • Firm offer and contract for supply
Detailed engineering
  • Detailed mechanical and electrical engineering
  • Procurement
  • Drawing approvals
  • Installation preparations
Installation
  • Equipment delivery for prefabrication/ installation
  • Prefabrication
  • Installation and site management
Commissioning
  • Flag/Class
  • Commissioning
  • Crew trainings
  • Hand over
  • Start of lifecycle support

Technology choice

The Wärtsilä Aquarius® Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) range comprises two product series specifically developed to enable our customers to meet their global ballast water discharge regulatory obligations. Both technical solutions, one based on filter UV and the other on filter side stream electro-chlorination (EC), have achieved IMO type approval status and both have been AMS accepted by the USCG.

Wärtsilä AQUARIUS® UV

Aquarius UV Ballast Water Wärtsilä

Ultra Violet (UV)
After filtration sea water passes through a UV chamber where ultra-violet light is used to disinfect the water prior to entering the ballast tank. Upon discharge, water from the ballast tanks passes through the UV chamber a second time, by-passing the filter.

Wärtsilä Aquarius® UV BWMS

Filter
During uptake for both Aquarius® UV & EC, seawater is first passed through an automatic back-washing filter with a 40 micron screen to remove particulates, sediments, zooplankton and phytoplankton. During discharge this process is by-passed.

Flexibility
Wärtsilä’s scope of supply whether loose, modular or bespoke system’s allows flexibility for application across the full range of ship types and sizes, for both the new build and retrofit markets. Wärtsilä offers customers a range of flexible supply options, from the BWMS equipment only, to a full turnkey service covering all phases. From the initial survey through to the supply, installation, and commissioning of the hardware, and continuing with lifecycle after sales service and support.

UV schematic

Wärtsilä AQUARIUS® EC

Aquarius EC Ballast Water Wärtsilä

Electro-Chlorination (EC)
Disinfectant is produced by an efficient in-situ side-stream electro-chlorination process, introduced to the ballast water by mixer after the filter. A Dose of 10ppm is maintained a monitored during uptake to ensure complete treatment at uptake through to discharge. During discharge if required the automatic neutralisation function ensures ballast water disinfectant levels meets the environmental compliance of MARPOL & US EPA Vessel General Permit.

Wärtsilä Aquarius® EC BWMS

Filter
During uptake for both Aquarius® UV & EC, seawater is first passed through an automatic back-washing filter with a 40 micron screen to remove particulates, sediments, zooplankton and phytoplankton. During discharge this process is by-passed.

Flexibility 
Wärtsilä’s scope of supply whether loose, modular or bespoke system’s allows flexibility for application across the full range of ship types and sizes, for both the new build and retrofit markets. Wärtsilä offers customers a range of flexible supply options, from the BWMS equipment only, to a full turnkey service covering all phases. From the initial survey through to the supply, installation, and commissioning of the hardware, and continuing with lifecycle after sales service and support.

EC schematic

Download product brochures

Download Brochure AQUARIUS® UV

Download Brochure AQUARIUS® EC

Download Brochure AQUARIUS® READY SOLUTION

Articles

Understanding the bigger picture

Our experience and knowledge about ships and marine engineering allow us to have a better understanding of the environment in which the Ballast Water Management System is going to be installed. With our technical assessment of BWMS for your specific vessel, we are capable of showing potential equipment locations, installation paths, electrical cabinet locations, and make recommendations for what should be considered during installation. Understanding that equipment operations are essential, and that problems and down time have an effect on the owners bottom line. We believe that a single supplier for the entire design process, equipment supply and installation support is beneficial to the ship owner both in terms of cost and efficiency. Communication across different disciplines is proven more efficient when exchanged within the same company.

DEKRA

Fully ATEX approved: Wärtsilä’s market leading ATEX and hazardous area installation design was custom made to meet the vessel design requirements.

ISO9001 - Ship design certificate

ISO certified ship designer: Management system certificate – Ship design and engineering services for the global maritime industry.

Legislation highlights and historic achievements

Wärtsilä Water Systems 1911 – 2001

1911 - Hamworthy formed on Poole Quay, England
1965 - First Sewage Plant Produced
1976/78 - IMO MARPOL Annex IV Convention was introduced to prevent sewage pollution from ships
1998 - Sewage Plant assembly facility opened in Suzhou
2001 - First MBR Produced

Ballast Water Treatment, the beginning: 2004 - 2010

2004 - IMO Ballast Water Convention Adopted
2006 - First MBR water treatment plant
2008 - MEPC.2(VI) entered into force
2010 - Inception of Aquarius® Development Programme
2010 - MEPC.159(55) tightened the sewage discharge standards of the type approved sewage treatment plant

Ratification and type approvals: 2012 - today

2012 - USCG Ballast Water Rule Enters Force
2012 - The Baltic Sea was designated as a Special Area under MARPOL Annex IV
2012 Aquarius® UV IMO Type Approved
2012 - Aquarius® EC IMO Basic Approval
2013 - Aquarius® UV USCG AMS Granted
2013 - Aquarius® EC IMO Final Approval and IMO Type Approval
2014 - Aquarius® UV EX Certification by DEKRA EXAM GmbH
2014 - Aquarius® EC  USCG AMS Granted
2016 - Aquarius® UV Lloyds Register Design Approval
2016 - Aquarius® EC EX Certification by DEKRA EXAM GmbH and Lloyds Register Design Approval
2016 - MEPC.227(64) introduced measures to control the use of dilution machines
2016 - IMO Ballast Water Convention Ratification
2019 - Nutrient removal requirements enter into force for new passenger ships’ sewage discharges in the Baltic Sea

Hamworthy-on-Poole-Quay

About us

Wärtsilä is a world leading manufacture of marine environmental solutions. Since development in 2010 the Aquarius® Ballast Water Management System range has provided solutions to both IMO & USCG Regulations focused on the reduction of invasive species introduction globally. Designed with the marine environment and compliance in mind the range of Aquarius® UV and Aquarius® EC systems suits the needs of all vessels operating across global conditions.

Wärtsilä Services network and production facilities map

Contact us

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