Colfax Fluid Handling delivers energy and maintenance savings, uptime, and greener operation.
Even for the most favorable fluid handling tasks, the competing interests of energy efficiency and pumping power can stymie an engineer’s plans. Consider the stresses involved for maritime applications, where fluid handling jobs are often necessary in less than ideal circumstances, and those competing interests can lead to maintenance problems and budget-busting work stoppages. Colfax Fluid Handling, a business of Colfax Corporation and a global leader in fluid-handling solutions for critical applications, believes the Smart Technology CM-1000 Series solves this problem.
The CM-1000 is an intelligent sea water cooling system controller designed to maximize shipboard pumping efficiency while lowering operating and maintenance costs and maximizing uptime. The result is a greener, sustainable solution with energy savings up to 80 percent, maintenance savings up to 50 percent, safe operation, short-term return-on-investment and long term savings for total ownership.
A commitment to building green, sustainable vessels that save energy and perform efficiently is at the forefront of China Navigation Company’s plans for eight new 31,000 deadweight “S” Class multipurpose vessels launching in 2013. China Navigation is the deep sea ship owning arm of the multinational Swire group.
The CM-1000 system utilizes a smart controller, located in the vessel’s control room, to manage the sea water cooling system’s pumps and electric motors. The controller is connected to pumps and motors via an Ethernet, and uses sensors to monitor critical characteristics of the system, including system speed and flow. The controller works with frequency controllers to regulate the pump flow based on a preset cooling temperature.
Additional advantages exist in terms of sustainability. By running the pumps at only the level needed to provide preset cooling levels, the effective lifetime of the pumps, motors, and related equipment is extended. That means less frequent replacement, and fewer items that require scrapping or recycling.
The “brains” behind smart pumping technology means reduced maintenance, which provides crew efficiency and lower repair costs. China Navigation expects an estimated savings of up to 50 percent annually in terms of maintenance and labor. The CM-1000 provides 24/7 intelligent monitoring to detect pump and motor coupling misalignment, coupling damage, bearing damage, seal damage/leakage monitoring and protection against dry running.
Operating, low-level warning and alarm parameters for each system component are programmed into the system. Monitoring is constant—literally maintenance on demand—which means that a component issue can be detected at a moment’s notice. This contrasts with the traditional method of assigning crew members to do regular system and component checks, freeing valuable manpower for other shipboard tasks.
Should action be required, yellow warning (action required) or red warnings (immediate action required) indicators on the controller panel are activated. If necessary, the CM-1000 will switch the system from the operating pump to the standby pump to ensure that the essential sea water cooling pumping system remains operational until repairs are made. Part of the system’s value is the ability to expand and add sensors should new equipment be added to the sea water cooling system.
China Navigation will measure success of the systems by the amount of power they help to save, the pump performance, time between system overhauls, and the availability of spare parts when overhauls and service is required.
“Sustainability is about having the lowest possible impact on the environment,” says Jerry Chen, China Navigation’s product manager. “We are confident that the CM-1000 system will perform well. We have worked with Colfax Fluid Handling for many years, so we have confidence that they will be available for support and spare parts in thirty years’ time—the lifetime of these ships.”
CM-1000 can be applied to either new vessel construction or through retrofitting existing sea water cooling systems. Designed to work effectively with both 2 x 100 percent and 3 x 50 percent pumping configurations, the CM-1000 offers:
Variable speed operation that adjusts and lowers motor and pump speed, providing energy savings between 40 and 80 percent and reducing the loads to provide longer equipment life and minimize maintenance; this replaces the traditional system design that features continuously-running pumps at full speed for worst-case conditions: 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) sea water, full load of all equipment, plus a bypass control.
Condition monitoring that detects potential wear or fault conditions such as bearing damage, misalignment or coupling damage, mechanical seal damage, and dry running to help to prevent catastrophic breakdown.
Operation monitoring that extends mean time between failures (MTBF) by avoiding partload and overload operation to decrease bearing load and cavitation occurrences and to provide safe operation and consistent pump performance.
“Our Smart Technology CM-1000 Series provides ship owners and ship builders significant energy and maintenance savings, increased uptime, and enhanced productivity,” says Karl-Johan Brinck, Colfax Fluid Handling’s vice president of commercial marine.
“Immediate fuel savings can be achieved through the system’s intelligent operation, measuring freshwater cooling water temperatures, automatically adjusting the speed for sea water-cooling electric motors and pumps accordingly, and operating them at only the speed required to deliver optimal cooling,” says Brinck. “For example, lowering revolution speed by 20 percent is designed to reduce flow by 20 percent and effectively cut energy consumption by 50 percent. Reduced fuel use means a greener, more sustainable vessel. Reducing overall loads enhances the life of equipment; that means reduced maintenance and an enhanced return on equipment investment.”
The CM-1000 Series uses only the energy necessary to provide exactly the right cooling performance with precisely the right flow of sea cooling water to ensure a constant temperature level of fresh cooling water. “This means that there is no overcapacity and no need for bypass control, and no wasted energy,” Brinck says.
In parallel, the CM-1000 provides constant and reliable cooling to all shipboard consumers of energy, such as the main engine, generator and auxiliary equipment, even at sea water temperatures up to 89.6 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). As temperature conditions change on the freshwater side, the system reacts by varying the speed of the electric motors of sea water pumps accordingly, using only the speed—and energy—required to provide optimal cooling conditions. This effectively reduces hydraulic loads and enhances the lifetime of the motors, pumps and related equipment through reduced usage and wear.
The CM-1000 Series uses sensors to monitor equipment and the operation conditions of each specific pump. Then the CM-1000 exchanges data through an Ethernet and provides real-time information and status indicators to the control room. Warning and alert alarms can be delivered both visually and audibly, allowing crew to make necessary system adjustments or to service components only when necessary, freeing them to concentrate on other tasks.
Maintenance-savings through Colfax Fluid Handling Smart Technology for Commercial Marine Applications may be best realized through its continuous monitoring that helps to ensure the highest levels of uptime.
“Simple and inexpensive parts such as a ball bearing may be easily replaced when stocked on board, but if a worn-out bearing goes undetected, a pump’s impeller and volute casing may be damaged, or the pump shaft may crack,” Brinck says. “None of these are inexpensive repairs, and these are parts usually not carried in a ship’s store. It can be a nightmare if an essential pump goes out of service while a ship is at sea, costing tens of thousands of dollars per day in downtime.” ■
Christian Martin is the director of commercial marine product management for Colfax Corporation, a diversified global manufacturing and engineering company that provides gas- and fluid-handling and fabrication technology products and services under the Howden, Colfax Fluid Handling, and ESAB brands. Additional information about Colfax is available at
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