UV Ballast Water Treatment Over Electrochlorination

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Recent trends in the market shows an increased interest among the ship owners towards UV ballast water treatment, while the earlier Electrochlorination is fading into history, reports Sea-trade cruise news.

Shipper’s voice

They see advantages in choosing UV ballast water treatment over electrochlorination for large flows, even with respect to power consumption and footprint.

Although, the idea of electrochlorination being more suitable for large flows than UV technology persisted in the early days of ballast water treatment, but modern solutions such as Alfa Laval PureBallast 3, the third generation of Alfa Laval’s ballast water treatment technology, are changing this preconception.

Low footprint and less power

UV ballast water treatment systems can now compete easily on power and footprint parameters, even at flows of 1,500–3,000 m3/h or above. As a result, their simplicity and lower operating costs are shifting focuses of major projects. Earlier this year, for example, Alfa Laval signed a deal to supply multiple vessels with PureBallast 3 systems for 3,000 m3/h.

As many ship owners have realized, the power consumption of today’s UV and electrochlorination systems is similar in practice. Electrochlorination systems are dependent on seawater temperature and salinity, which means they use considerably more power in low-temperature or low-salinity conditions. However, PureBallast 3 systems, has effective power management, and are certified for all water types and can be completely unaffected by temperature or salinity.

In terms of footprint, UV ballast water treatment systems can actually be smaller than electrochlorination systems. With a range of four different reactor sizes, a PureBallast 3 system can be optimally configured to match the vessel and its ballast water flow. In part because no heaters or major auxiliaries are needed, UV systems are also easier and less costly to install.

Simplicity of UV treatment

Although the power consumption and footprint are largely equivalent, the operational advantages of UV treatment has a compelling argument against electrochlorination. In particular, UV treatment is both safer and easier for the crew.

Electrochlorination requires strong safety measures for chemical storage and handling. These may include explosion-proof storage compartments with additional ventilation, as well as additional safety equipment and crew training. Electrochlorination generates both hydrogen and chlorine gases, which are not only toxic, but also highly flammable if mixed.

By contrast, UV treatment systems are chemical-free and simple for the crew to handle. Because they generate no harmful substances, they require no measures to prevent corrosion or neutralize residual oxidants. In total, such factors mean less risk, less maintenance and less operating cost for the vessel.

Shippers must consider these pros and cons of both technology and skillfully opt the better choice for their operations.

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Source: Seatrade Cruise News

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