SKF BlueSonic BWMS raises efficiency in ballast water treatment

SKF’s ballast water management system (BWMS) has completed shipboard and environmental approval testing and is now commercially available, helping ship owners and operators to meet stringent rules.

SKF’s BlueSonic BWMS, which helps ship owners and operators meet strict new rules on ballast water treatment, is now commercially available following comprehensive shipboard and environmental approval testing.

The system has also received type approval to meet the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) G8 regulations. It also complies with US Coast Guard (USCG) type standards.

“SKF BlueSonic BWMS complies with IMO requirements and USCG regulations as standard”, says Olaf Streich, SKF’s Technical Director of Ballast Water Management Systems. “With a single operating mode for all territories, the system is easy to use, and compliance risks are minimised.”

SKF BlueSonic BWMS treats ballast water to prevent invasive species such as microbes being transferred from one shipping region to another. It works more efficiently than competing systems because the disinfection system operates continuously. At the same time, it offers better environmental performance because it uses no harsh chemicals.

These types of systems normally use ultraviolet (UV) lamps to treat the ballast water. To operate efficiently, a biofilm that builds up on the surface of the lamps must be removed. Most UV systems do this with chemicals (which cause pollution) or electrolysis (which generates hydrogen and can be explosive). SKF BlueSonic BWMS uses ultrasound to clean the lamps continuously, so that disinfection and lamp-cleaning takes place simultaneously. This allows the system to operate constantly, as there is no need to stop and clean the lamps. This chemical-free approach also brings time and cost savings on maintenance, chemicals, storage and training.

Now that SKF BlueSonic BWMS has been through extensive land-based, shipboard and environmental testing and received IMO type approval, it is being made available to customers.  A number of major contracts are currently being negotiated and SKF anticipates that the first systems will be installed and operating during the next few months.

The SKF BlueSonic BWMS system can be configured for flow rates between 150 and 1,500 m³/hr and is backed by a full range of support services, including design, 3D scanning, crew training and class certification. SKF’s mission is to be the undisputed leader in the bearing business. SKF offers solutions around the rotating shaft, including bearings, seals, lubrication, condition monitoring and maintenance services. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has around 17,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2019 were SEK 86 013 million and the number of employees was 43,360.

® SKF is a registered trademark of the SKF Group.

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