- Competition does not satisfy the industry’s need for filters
- Compliance with regulation doesn’t solve the problem
- Our filter will be the preferred solution
Many Ballast Water Treatment Systems are certified today according to IMO and USCG guideline. The problem is simply that the systems don’t work in real time treatment on board of most ships. Water quality in many harbours is much worse in comparison to the usual setup in testing and certifying. Furthermore, some test facilities even base the test on land and perform sedimentation process on the water even before the testing in order to pass the test and acquire certification.
That raises the question of quality of the performed test as well as a bigger issue of actual performance in practice. With that in mind, it is really not hard to imagine why, according to the article by American Bureau of Shipping, results of studies performed on boats are appalling.
At the end of the day, you invest a lot into a product that doesn’t quite work, but satisfies regulations, and in case of the the expected revision and control down the line, who is stuck with paying this bill?
Top Water Flow team started working on a filter based solution upon identifying the need. We worked hard to deliver not just a filter but a new way of thought into the game.
Path to 20 micron
Early proof of concepts took us on a path to satisfy the regulations and remove all organisms larger that 50 microns. As we continued to research and furthermore develop the solution, we were surprised to find out that the laws didn’t take into considerations all the border cases, therefore will have to be rewritten in near future. Most Ballast Water Treatment developers are using 50 micron filters, motivated only by satisfying the regulations and on the other hand, technologically unable to provide a solution that can work with smaller sizes. Pressure goes up, flow goes down, system requires constant back flushing and in the end breaks down.
In the previous article, we scratched the surface on the variety of marine biology and even mentioned Rotifers, interesting organisms that can be 300 micron long but only 30 microns thick. Organisms from this family can easily go through a 50 micron filter where they would be stopped by a 20 micron net. In our approach, we have two filters in place, as visible in the video. First, inner filter removes all organisms bigger than 50 microns, and then, the external mesh clears all the smaller ones.
With that approach, not only the process is simplified and divided into more manageable stages, it is lot easier to achieve the international regulations.
How does it work?
The main water flow goes in the bottom centre of the filter. Water flow is then filtered in the inner filter which has a bigger micron filter mesh in comparison to the next filter mesh screen, which is the final in the filtering process. Of course, based on the client’s needs we can adjust the micron meshes being installed on the filters.
The filter has a constant cleaning process, without any backflush. The cleaning process has a gearing system, which can regulate more and harder cleaning if necessary. This is controlled by sensors, and used crucially in sawing energy while at the same time secure and can enable bigger capacities.
The wastewater from the filter goes through a separator, which removes solids from the water. Solids can be treated in the next process, with our compost system, which will make high-quality soil for plants as the final product