Optimarin has moved to reinforce its market leading position by challenging the integrity of its filter components, through a rigorous program of testing in conjunction with Det Norske Veritas (DNV).
The initiative, understood to be unique for a ballast water treatment (BWT) system supplier, saw Optimarin make a substantial investment to put its three leading filter suppliers – Boll & Kirch, Filtersafe and Filtrex - to the test at Goeje Island in South Korea.
The motivation was simple; to challenge, and ultimately demonstrate, the reliability of this most crucial BWT system component (giving potential and existing customers real peace of mind), while also feeding the test results back into the Optimarin and individual supplier development teams in a drive for ever-greater performance.
Tore Andersen, Sales and Marketing Director at Optimarin, explains more: “BWT filter performance is critical to the operation of all vessels across the globe. If that ‘little’ filter clogs, or is severely compromised in any way, it can effectively halt operations for an entire vessel. Ship owners and operators have expressed concern about such risks, so this is our way of tangibly demonstrating just how good our filters perform, under the most demanding environmental conditions.”
Goeje Island in the Yellow Sea was singled out for the testing programme due to its high levels of nitrate concentration, which is known to lead to algal blooms. Algae concentrations can reach millions of cells per millimeter of seawater in such conditions, representing major challenges for BWT filters in general.
The Boll & Kirch, Filtersafe and Filtrex filters that were put to the test, all of which have capacities of 500m3/h, were placed on a moveable barge anchored out at sea. Each filter was then tested for two hours a day over three days, cleaning and processing large volumes of seawater, to ensure that they all operated under the same environmental conditions. During the programme, no UV treatment lamps were included in the testing.
Kurt Steinsvik, Optimarin’s Chief Technical Officer, was pleased with the test results. He notes, “Although the water conditions were prone to rapid changes, the filters coped extremely well and maintained complete performance integrity. The suppliers were happy to take part in our stringent testing, performed with DNV, and their faith in their own products has certainly been rewarded.”
Steinsvik believes that the test results can help the group of suppliers work in unison with his firm, sharing information to evaluate performance and get the very best out of one another.
“This kind of shared operational experience is most valuable,” he comments. “It assists us in determining optimal operating parameters for our systems, with various filters, and is a real platform for future development.
“We are a market leading BWT supplier at present, with a reputation for providing first class, simple, flexible and reliable technology. By investing in trailblazing testing initiatives such as this one, we can insure that we stay at the head of the industry moving forwards.”
Optimarin testing fact file:
Where: Geoje Island, near Busan, South Korea
When: 11 to 13 September 2012
Who: Optimarin in conjunction with DNV and assisted by the local coastguard
What: Boll&Kirch 600m3/h, Filtersafe 500m3/h, Filtrex 500m3/h.
All filters tested with a pump capacity of 500m3/h.
How: A filter test rig was placed on a barge at sea. Each filter was tested for two hours per day, over three days, with a test log overseen by DNV. TSS samples of seawater were taken at the start and end of each filter’s individual testing periods.