Keeping Your Cargo Safe: Refrigeration Plant Maintenance On Marine Vessels

Cargo Ships

The continuous use of refrigeration plants on a marine vessel carrying perishable food makes it one of the most important systems on the ship. The refrigeration plant supplies cooling to various parts of the ship, most importantly this includes maintaining the climate conditions of whatever cargo the ship is transporting. As a lifeline for all perishable food items, temperature-sensitive cargo, and personnel, the refrigeration plant is one of the most important systems on a ship. 

When away from the port, marine vessels are isolated, self-servicing floating businesses, and have to have great any maintenance crews. The great isolation and distance from the port reinforce the need for proper maintenance and upkeep of critical systems on the ship when is in port, but also having on-board expertise when on a voyage.

The Nature of a Marine Refrigeration Plant 

As mentioned before, the main purpose of the refrigeration plant is to avoid any spoilage or damage that could occur to the perishable cargo on the ship. Properly maintained climate levels on a ship prevent the growth of microorganisms, oxidation, fermentation, and drying out of cargo. 

Refrigeration plants have multiple important components, all vital to maintaining performance. Some of these components are simple to replace en route, while others are more complicated and require port-based maintenance. Depending on your system configuration, maintaining components like evaporator coils or air handler coils can help keep systems operational, longer. Using proper technology to clean air handler coils, refrigeration coils, and condenser coils can help keep system head pressure within specifications and increase system efficiency. 

Cleaning and Maintaining the Components of a Refrigeration Plant

Crew and customers both rely on the dependability and functionality of the ship’s refrigeration plant. Without a well-maintained refrigeration plant, the rest of the ship is unable to perform its main function of transporting its cargo. 

Ships may rarely stay at a dock for a long enough period of time for engineers to fully service and maintain the health of the refrigeration plant. Ship engineers need to fully understand the movement schedule of a ship so that they can best plan the overall maintenance of the refrigeration plant. A common practice of ship engineers is to conduct all of their routine maintenance nearly every day at sea. Engineers save the in-depth maintenance overhauls and part replacement for the docking periods of a ship, where access to additional resources is available. 

With such a small window to conduct refrigeration plant maintenance, it is vitally important that ship engineers make the time that they have to conduct maintenance count. Proper cleaning and maintenance equipment increase the effectiveness of maintenance efforts. The key equipment to have for refrigeration plant maintenance includes coil cleaning systems and chemicals, tube cleaning systems, chemical descalers, industrial pressure washers, and surface sanitation systems. This equipment should be paired with a comprehensive maintenance plane that is also in sync with the docking schedule for the ship. 

Goodway’s experts are also on standby ready to answer any questions about marine refrigeration plant maintenance. The best refrigeration maintenance plans fully consider the port and at sea dates of the ship, and utilize this time to conduct the major cleaning, maintenance, and performance checks. Routine maintenance can be completed easily and quickly daily with numerous Goodway products that maintain the operational health of the refrigeration plant. 

 

Next Steps:

Learn more about Ship Maintenance: Descaling is Critical for Effective Heat Transfer

Find your Maritime & Offshore perfect solution

Get tips & tricks with Dealing with Scale Deposits in Maritime Environments

 

 

 

The True Cost Of HVAC Scale

What can you, as the facility maintenance manager, do about limescale? Limescale and other water formed deposits can cause major loss of efficiency, increased operating costs, and minimize the life expectancy of capital equipment. But first, as a Facility Manager, how can you tell if your HVAC system is suffering from limescale build-up?

Signs of Increased Cost from Scale Buildup

Some of the symptoms will be gradual because limescale deposits build up over time. But small changes in equipment efficiencies can be a sign of limescale growth. Here are some additional signs that show you need to tackle your limescale problem:

  1. Rising operational costs (including tube or pump failures or the chiller shutting down due to high head pressure)
  2. Increased equipment downtime
  3. Progressively growing heating and cooling energy costs
  4. Poor equipment (boiler, chiller, heat exchanger, or tower) performance, including high head pressures or pump reading more elevated than usual

Rising operational costs

If your HVAC gas or electric bill is rising with no change in facility operational hours, there’s a good chance you’ve got limescale problems. Scale deposits can lead to significant increases in energy costs by reducing the heat transfer surface on both cooling (chiller) and heating (boiler) systems. Consequently, more energy is required to achieve the same level of heating or cooling when limescale fouling is impeding the energy coefficients. Also, the reduction in pipe diameter means your pumps work harder to move the same amount of fluid. This not only increases electricity costs but may lead to premature pump failure. Increased fuel costs mean increased building operating and maintenance costs, which affect the profitability of your business.

Some key findings on the costs of scale are:

  • Energy consumption is increased up to 11% for just 1/16-inch of scale, according to the American Society of Plumbing Engineers
  • Equipment failure rates increase due to scale
  • Scale often necessitates the use of chemicals to counter hard water use. Detergent usage increases by 2-4% percent per 1,000 gallons of water.

Increased equipment downtime

When left to build up inside HVAC components, scale deposits will eventually require removal for the equipment to function. Depending on the amount of build-up, the equipment may experience downtime for days or weeks. This downtime quickly cuts into the operational capability of a building, and if all HVAC systems serving a building are down, the building may have to cease operation entirely until the problem is fixed.

Preventing equipment downtime is one of the most significant concerns of facility managers, yet some may not realize that they need to practice correct preventative maintenance plans on their systems to prevent downtime. Naturally, all equipment will experience some sort of downtime for maintenance, but when equipment downtime sharply increases for cleaning, it may be evidence of a larger scale build-up problem.

Progressively increasing heating and cooling energy costs

Progressively increasing heating and cooling costs can be a reliable indicator of scale build-up inside HVAC components affecting the performance and efficiency of HVAC systems. This is especially true when heating and cooling costs increase despite a relatively stable period of climate and building usage.

Facility managers are certainly in tune with the energy costs that a building accrues. Energy costs are often one of the most significant operations and maintenance budget items that a facility manager is concerned about. If patterns of rising heating and cooling costs show a decline inefficiency, it may be time to clean the system entirely of scale build-up.

Poor equipment performance

Poor equipment performance – like on boilers, chillers, heat exchangers or cooling towers – is often first noticed by monitoring the key performance indicators of your systems. Things like the pump and head pressures should be monitored daily to identify baselines. This way, any disparency can quickly indicate scale issues.

Scale build-up inside the boiler, chiller, heat exchanger or cooling tower may be causing the lack of performance out of the system. Poor equipment performance will not only deliver inadequate heating or cooling results but also end up costing many multiples of the maintenances costs for replacement.

Preventing Scale Build Up

There are different methods for removing limescale build-up. These methods generally fall into two categories chemical and mechanical.

A combination of water treatment programs along with chemical or mechanical descaling is necessary to keep scale in check.

Chemical descalers are fluids which react with the calcium carbonate, sulfate or silica build-up to break it down and flush it out of the system.

Mechanical include using rotary tube cleaning or projectile-based systems to remove scale deposits mechanically. They work to remove the mineral deposits plaguing the tubes of HVAC chillers, fire or water tube boilers, heat exchanger tubes/coils and condenser tubes.

To slow the scale accumulation, water treatment solutions are often employed. Depending on the chemistry of your water source, a water treatment company will come up with the right treatment solution for your boiler or cooling tower. Regular tests and checks are essential to ensure the water is receiving the correct dosage of treatment chemicals. However, no chemical treatment will prevent scale deposits entirely, and so vigilant monitoring of system performance is required.

Next Steps:

If you haven’t been taking preventive action against HVAC limescale, today is an excellent time to start. It is never too late to begin, and you may be amazed by the results you will achieve. While there are many different options on the market today, choosing the right solution for your system is essential.

Get started by maintaining a daily logbook of your system parameters like head pressures, pump pressures, etc. The set up an annual or biannual maintenance cleaning program. This will help you get a handle on your scale problem. Next, get guidance from a reputable descaler manufacturer so you can make the right choices for addressing scale in your facility. With their expertise and products, soon your facility will realize lower running costs and a more efficient HVAC system.

Mechanical vs. Chemical Scale Removal: What Is Best For My Facility’s HVAC Equipment?

Scale or limescale is caused by mineral deposits in water becoming adhered to pipes, pumps and other hydronic system components. This adhesion is a natural occurrence when water is heated or cooled. Even the best-treated water contains scale deposits, however raw water deposits, including those from well and other underground sources, lakes, and ponds can contain significant levels of minerals, also known as “hard water”. In fact, over 80% of the continental USA has moderate to hard water.  Scale build-up that is caused by hard water can have numerous adverse effects on the systems and components that come in contact with the water. It is important for owners, operators, and facility managers to not only pay attention to excessive scale build-up but to also have a response and maintenance plan for removing the scale.

The first general approach to maintaining scale build-up is the use of mechanical tools and practices to remove scale build-up. There are multiple techniques and practices that fall under mechanical scale removal. Primarily, mechanical scale removal involves removal utilizing machines or machinery to physically remove the scale build-up from system components. For chillers, boilers and other heat exchange equipment, Goodway offers numerous excellent products that mechanically remove scale buildup from machine and system components. The RAM-4 Chiller Tube Cleaner is one of many varying capacity tube cleaners that, when paired with an appropriate brush, effectively cleans tough scale deposits in chillers, condensers, evaporators, absorption machines, and other heat exchangers.

When mechanical tools are not enough to rid scale, a chemical scale remover can be a great tool to safely, efficiently and effectively remove scale. Chemical scale removal is a generally more passive approach to system and component maintenance, where a chemical solution is flushed through the interior piping and components of a system and reacts with mineral scale build-up to remove and cleanse the system.

Chemical scale removal can be conducted in a number of ways but is most effective when the chemical is pumped through the interior piping and connections of a system. One such system that is effective on larger industrial HVAC and process machinery is the GDS-100-BV is Scale Removal System. When paired with ScaleBreak®, Goodway’s advanced descaling solution, the system quickly and effectively removes the scale leaving system operating at optimal efficiency. In fact, in many instances systems will operate at an efficiency higher than when first installed. Read how in this case study.

Plant maintenance managers need to understand both mechanical and chemical descaling options and how they apply to the equipment in their plant. Deciding between either method can be difficult, but there are a few key factors that managers can focus on to make their choice. These deciding factors for managers include upfront cost and lifecycle cost, effective fit for their intended use, the amount of money saved in operating and the extension of the usable lifetime of the serviced equipment, and any regulatory guidelines pertaining to the equipment needed to be maintained.

Goodway offers two excellent features on its website to assist managers with deciding which method of descaling equipment to purchase and utilize. Managers who are considering implementing a new maintenance plan or changing their current one should consult with the experts at Goodway and utilize the tools they have for making these difficult decisions.

The first feature on their site is their cost calculator. This cost calculator can break down the cost data for numerous types of equipment to include boiler, chiller, and cooling tower descaling equipment. Utilizing this calculator provides an excellent insight into the potential savings and best-fit equipment for different types of industrial equipment. The second decision-making tool that Goodway offers is their buyer guide, which provides key information and articles about descaling technologies, with further information on key factors to consider when choosing maintenance equipment.

 

Next Steps:

Watch our webinar on Scale: Why You Have It, What It Does and How to Descale Safely and Effectively.

Watch our webinar on Industrial Descaling: Challenges and Benefits.

See Instructions for Cleaning Brazed Plate & Gasketed Heat Exchangers with ScaleBreak.

See Goodway ScaleBreak® featured in Canadian Facility Management & Design.

Read up on Goodway Descaling Solutions For MULTISTACK® Chillers

Listen to this Podcast: Descaling Large Equipment brought to you from HVAC SCHOOL.

New Years Resolution: Preventative Maintenance of HVAC System Servicing Data Centers

Data centers represent a unique challenge to building managers. The stacks of servers require large amounts of energy to constantly run, while also emanating large amounts of heat into the room. The challenge is keeping energy costs low in a building while running a high energy-consuming, heat-producing data center at peak performance. As a building manager of a large data center, it is inevitable that the energy costs for cooling the building are likely the largest out of pocket cost each month. Despite the high cost of cooling, many building managers don’t focus enough on conducting proper planned maintenance of their HVAC systems. In order to save a significant amount in monthly energy expenses and long-term equipment bills, building managers should make a business-focused new year’s resolution to create or revive their planned maintenance schedule for HVAC.

According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning (ASHRAE) the standard data center requires room conditions to be between 18 and 27 degrees Celsius (64 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit), with a dew point between -9 and 15 degrees Celsius, and relative humidity of 60 percent. The climate, heat output, building construction and makeup of the data center are just some of the numerous variables that make maintaining a room within those conditions both difficult and costly. The heat output of a data center is proportional to the combined amount of computing output and data storage capabilities of the center and likewise, the interior climate conditions inside a data center affect the efficiency of data transfer and server operation. When the HVAC system servicing a data center struggles to maintain internal climate conditions it is at the detriment of both the performance of the servers inside the center as well as the energy consumption of the building.

Maintaining an efficient and healthy HVAC system performance is one of the best approaches to counteracting potentially expensive data center costs. This level of system maintenance can be difficult depending on the demand put on the HVAC system. The interior climate demands in a data center are stringent and they require year-round HVAC performance, but they are also consistent. Unlike human-occupied spaces in a building that can have varying cooling demands, the heat output of a data center is relatively constant. The consistency of the heating load inside a data center provides a unique opportunity for building managers and plant owners to optimize their system to fit the needs of the data center while requiring the least amount of energy to run.

Planned maintenance of the HVAC system serving a data center is a crucial aspect of building management. Periodically scheduled cleanings of system components pay significant dividends in energy savings for an HVAC system. Chillers, coils and other components become clogged with material over time, reducing efficiency and drastically increasing costs.

A hydronic HVAC system or large chilled water system with a significant buildup of limescale and other water formed deposits will have to work significantly harder to maintain the room conditions of a data center. Scale deposits attach to the chiller tube walls, cooler tower piping, and other water-filled components of Hydronic and chilled water systems and reduce the heat exchange properties of the system, as well as the cross-sectional area available for fluids to flow through. This ultimately requires more energy for heat transfer and more power to propel the fluid through the system. Even a small-scale buildup inside pipes can require significantly more energy to cool a space. Additionally, for large HVAC spaces with constant use, a buildup of limescale can degrade the same components of and hydronic and chilled water HVAC systems, drastically reducing their effectiveness and decreasing their usable life.  Large data centers require the greatest cooling effort, and degradations will cause losses in the tens of thousands of dollars. Building managers can calculate their true cost of HVAC scale by using one of the descaling calculators at goodway.com/resources/calculators.

For systems where scale is not the issue, like Packaged HVAC system or RTU’s, scheduling the cleaning of coils is essential to maintain optimal temperatures. Wasted energy can cost between $1,000 and $3,700 per unit. Dirty coils can diminish heat transfer and increase operating temperatures and pressures. The importance to wash and flush both sides of the coils can be the difference between a data center overheating and shutting down or maintaining proper temperature and continuous power. Solutions, like the ones from Goodway, are specifically designed to clean coils. Just as cleaning the coils of such units the maintenance of cleaning the condensate drainage is consequential. Clogged condensate drain lines prevent water and other liquids from effectively moving out of the unit which can in time cause damage to the unit and surrounding area.

A comprehensive preventative maintenance plan is the single greatest method to minimize efficiency losses throughout the year. If building managers don’t already have a plan in place to maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of the HVAC system cooling their data center, they should implement one immediately. Maintenance plans can easily be synchronized with the calendar so that starting with the new year each maintenance plan becomes a new year’s resolution for HVAC efficiency. Setting a new year’s resolution is an effective way of making a permanent change for the future, and for a data center, a permanent change to regularly scheduled maintenance can produce savings throughout the life of the system. For specific problems such as system descaling, there are simple solutions such as Goodway’s ScaleBreak Liquid Descaler. Goodway’s line of ScaleBreak products safely dissolve mineral deposits inside your system components quickly and safely. The ScaleBreak Liquid Descaler is a low cost and effective method for achieving your new year’s resolution to carry out system maintenance.

Next Steps

Check out more information on these products at goodway.com/accessories/descaling-chemicals-accessories.

GDS-100 Gets Top Grades When Put To The Test

For building systems like boilers, cooling towers, and heat exchangers that use water to transfer heat, the buildup of mineral deposits and scale inside the equipment is a normal part of the operation. Over time the scale layer gets so thick that heat cannot transfer efficiently through the equipment causing substantial system losses and potential equipment breakdowns. The only way to get the efficiency back is to either mechanically or chemically remove the scale from the equipment, and at this level of scale buildup, a chemical was the only viable option.

For one Operation’s Shift Supervisor at a municipal water power generation plant, routine descaling of several large plate heat exchangers was cumbersome and a burden. As he says,

“We usually just opened the heat exchanger up and cleaned it with power washers. That worked, but it was very labor-intensive. We were interested in an easier way to remove scale buildup” Having already been introduced to Goodway’s time-saving tube cleaning equipment, he called his local sales rep for a way to improve the labor-heavy descaling work.

“Our Goodway sales rep sent us a brochure on the GDS-100 descaling system and I did some research. The product seemed like it might apply to our work and could save labor costs by not having to open up the heat exchanger. The setup looked easy and we had never tried a recirculating system, so we decided to test it out.”

The GDS-100 is a portable “clean-in-place” (CIP) descaling system that pumps descaling liquid through industrial hydronic equipment to dissolve mineral scale deposits, into a liquid suspension to be flushed out. The descaling system is built on wheels making it easy to roll to the work area and once it’s running, the descaler can be left to do the work while the technicians take care of other things.

The power plant maintenance team put the GDS-100 to the test. They filled it with ScaleBreak® Liquid Descaler to see how the system would handle a heavily scaled plate heat exchanger. “We decided to let the GDS-100 circulate for a full 24 hours to see if it could clean it. When it was done we opened up the heat exchanger and found that it did an effective job at cleaning out the scale.” The team immediately knew this was a product that would help them be more efficient.

“Labor savings are a huge benefit of this machine. I can set this up in two hours and just let it run unmanned by itself. We don’t have to open the heat exchanger for inspection each time we clean because we’ve already tested and know it works. The gaskets stay intact and remain inside the exchanger and we don’t have to struggle to put them back. Manual cleaning is very labor-intensive when you don’t have the benefit of the circulation system. We can see the labor savings right away.”

The savings from the GDS-100 goes beyond labor. The efficiency of the heat exchanger improved immediately after it was descaled. When scaled, the heat exchangers at the power plant were only showing a temperature drop of 4 or 5 degrees. But after being descaled with the GDS-100, the heat exchangers were giving 8 to 9-degree temperature differences – nearly a 100% improvement. The team told us that they were getting efficiencies they hadn’t gotten in a long time.

Fast setup, reduced labor costs, and improved efficiency make the GDS-100 and ScaleBreak® Liquid Descaler the choice for maintenance managers everywhere. The team at the municipal power plant is spreading the news of their success. “We’ve taken photos and sent them around to our other facilities to show them the results.” We love to make our customers more successful. Let us show you our entire line of products to make you and your equipment more efficient and work better.

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