The largest backhoe dredger in the world has been installed with box cooler anti-fouling systems designed as the result of collaboration between Blokland Non-Ferro and Cathelco Ltd.
The dredger has been built by IHC Merwede and was recently launched at the shipyard of its Dutch co-operation partner Lekkerland. It is being supplied to Autoridad del Canal de Panama (ACP) and will be used for the expansion and maintenance of the Panama Canal.
With a length of 60.2m and a width of 23m, the vessel has an installed power of 3,000kW and offers daytime accommodation for ten people.
Blokland have supplied 5 box coolers for the dredger which incorporate Cathelco anti-fouling systems to prevent the growth of barnacles and mussels which can impair the efficiency of the heat transfer process.
“A major advantage is that the box cooler and anti-fouling system is supplied as a complete assembly. This means that when the anodes need to changed after a period of 3 years, the whole unit can be removed for anode replacement while the vessel is still afloat, eliminating the need for drydocking,” said Bram Fase of Blokland.
Since 2009, UK based Cathelco have worked in partnership with Blokland Non-Ferro, the Dutch manufacturers of box coolers to develop systems which overcome the problem of bio-fouling.
The design consists of a copper anode, connected to a control panel, which is mounted horizontally beneath the cooling tubes of the box cooler. This ensures an even distribution of copper ions which prevent barnacle and mussel larvae from settling and growing on the tubes, eliminating the formation of marine growth which can prevent heat transfer. The unit also incorporates cathode plates which ensure an even wear pattern on the anode to maximise its longevity.
“Because the box cooler and anti-fouling system is supplied as a complete assembly there are also benefits in terms of reduced installation time. No fabrication work is required by the yard and it is simply a case connecting the pipework and making the electrical connections,” explained Garry Churm of Cathelco.
Cathelco are world leading manufacturers of seawater pipework anti-fouling systems with a record of over 30,000 installations on ships of every size. In the majority of cases anodes are mounted in seachests or strainers, but in recent years the company has extended its range to include specialised anodes for box coolers, miniaturised anodes that can be fitted within pipework and other types which are installed in electrolysis tanks for dosing purposes.
Press Release, September 24, 2012