UV on fore peak tank ballast systems

Nov 12 2020

Some tanker operators are requesting a standalone ballast water treatment system for their fore peak tank (a tank used to adjust the vessel’s trim), says BIO-UV Group.

Some tanker customers have been fitting two separate ballast water systems. A large explosion proof system for main use, and a smaller additional system for handling ballast water from the fore peak tank, which is not connected to the main ballast tanks, said Xavier Deval, business director for the BIO-SEA product at BIO-UV Group.


The fore peak tank is a ballast tank at the fore of the vessel, which is filled and emptied to adjust the trim of the ship. 


In this case, the company’s BIO-SEA B or  L range are  very compact and can treat up to 120 m3/h.  Both are suitable for treating water in the peak ballast tank, he says.


Some chemical tanker operators have been asking for smaller systems which can handle 200 to 300m3 / hour flow rates.


The BIO-SEA B system combines mechanical filtration and ultraviolet disinfection in one unit. It can handle flow rates up to 13m3/h up to 2000m3/h.


It can be made available in modules or on two ‘skids’ to be easy to install.


Each system is made up of a number of “UV reactors  with the L range capable of 30m3/h per reactor and 150 m3/h for the B range. This is from only one lamp inside, made from bronze, aluminium and titanium.


It also makes a unit for smaller vessels such as yachts, called BIO-SEA Small Flow Rate.


There are sensors on the system which judge the water quality and adjust the lamp power accordingly, since more light power is needed to penetrate dirtier water.


The system is not explosion proof, so cannot be installed on the deck of tankers.


About BIO-UV group

Bio-UV Group is based near Montpellier, France, and specialises in a range of UV equipment for industrial purposes, as its core business. Other than maritime, applications include pharmaceutical water, waste water and swimming pools.


It has been involved in the maritime ballast water sector since 2011. It has over 200 ballast water systems in operation on ships today, and 80,000 UV systems in use. 


When companies started considering ballast water systems around 2012, there was a strong preference to go to companies with marine backgrounds, Mr Deval says. But there is a strong argument for working with companies which have deep expertise and a network of service agents specialising in UV.


“We have the expertise and the technology to design the most adaptive reactor,” he says.


The company has a network of service engineers around the world, all of which have been trained in its headquarters in France, before doing a real commissioning.


All assembly is done in the South of France, including welding system engineering, system assembly, cable wiring and full testing with Classifications societies


You typically need higher UV doses for maritime ballast water than you do for systems for drinking water and swimming pools, Mr Deval says. 


There is also the challenge that the dirtiness of water carried by ships varies. Companies need a system which can handle the worst water they may need to treat. But the basic technology of water UV treatment is the same for all applications, he says.



The company has also been developing UV lamps for a different application – killing coronavirus.


It has a portable handheld UV virus killer available priced at between Eur 2000 and 3000, depending on system reference and which would be suitable for ships, including for use on desks, ship’s bridges, and bedrooms, Mr Deval says.


The system has been approved by French standards organisation AFNOR and two further independent laboratories, as safe for killing many bacteria and viruses, including COVID 19, with 99,99% effectiveness on viruses and 99,999% on bacteria.


It can be 100 times more effective than using sanitiser or wipes, he says, and also much faster. 


A number of units have been sold to the cruise sector, merchant shipping sector and navy.


One way around this is to have a robot device for applying the UV. The company is developing such a device, which could sanitise a whole room on a vessel within several minutes without a person being present. 


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