Advantages of central cooling systems

22. April 2012

The Sperre Rack central cooler, espesially designed for offshore vessels, provide several advantages for the central cooling systems:

  • Low maintenance cost: As the system runs with fresh water, the cleaning, maintenance and component replacement reduces.
  • Less corrosion: Since the sea water system is only in the central part, the corrosion of pipes and valves decreases.
  • Higher speed of fluid hence better heat exchange: Higher speed is possible in the fresh water system, which results in reduced piping and low installation cost.
  • Cost efficient materials: Since the corrosion factor decreases, expensive materials are not required for valves and pipelines.
  • Constant temperature level maintained: Since the temperature controlled is irrespective of seawater temperature, stable temperature is maintained which helps in reducing machinery wear down.

The machineries fitted on board ships are designed to work with maximum efficiency and run for many running hours. The maximum energy loss from machineries is in the form of heat energy. This loss of heat energy has to be reduced or carried away by a cooling media to avoid malfunctioning or breakdown in the machinery. For this reason, cooling water systems are fitted on board ships.

One of the most common systems is central cooling. Fresh water is here used in a closed circuit to cool down the engine room machineries. The fresh water returning from the heat exchanger after cooling the machineries is further cooled by seawater in a seawater cooler.

In central cooling systems the seawater is used as a cooling media in large seawater cooled heat exchangers to cool the fresh water of the closed circuit. They are the central coolers of the system.

The fresh water system can be a mixed system; the heat from all the different machineries and other components that need cooling is mixed together in one flow. This is the easiest system to install and regulate, but needs some more cooling area than a split system.

In a split system the low temperature (LT) circuit is used for low temperature zone; hence its temperature is lower than the high temperature (HT) circuit. The LT circuit comprises of all auxiliary systems. The HT circuit mainly comprises of jacket water system of the main engine where the temperature is quite high.

The smart alternative to box coolers

For vessels with several main engines, the Rack cooler combines the best of three worlds. The Rack cooler frees space in the engine room like box coolers and provides constant cooling like plate coolers, with unique maintainability – like no other cooler.


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