The challenge with this project was designing and sizing the replacement Titanium condensers to fit into the available space while delivering the required performance. Room was very limited and modifying the piping had to be kept to a minimum. Additionally, the delivery window was short along with a tight installation schedule.
Titanium Marine Technologies delivered the three condensers on time, and they were put into service without a hitch. Unlike the failed cupro-nickel units, these units will not corrode or erode, and will not require any zinc anodes, ever. Titanium is unaffected by sea water, sand-laden water or sodium chloride. The toughness of Titanium allows for high sea water velocities in the tubes, providing a “self-scouring” mechanism which inhibits marine growth.
The F/V Koorali, a 1,000-ton tuna seiner, routinely fishes in the western Pacific Ocean. After repeated failures of the original engine cooling units, the vessel owner decided to systematically replace all nine of the ship’s original Cu-Ni heat exchangers. This included coolers for the main engine, hydraulic power units and large diesel electric generators.
Each replacement heat exchanger had to provide equal performance without exceeding the available space. Matching the piping arrangements and sea water flows also impacted the designs. In every case the units fitted up precisely and were significantly lighter.
Pictured: Twin 4,500 HP Engine Coolers
This move to an all titanium cooling system represents a trend where reliability is increased, maintenance is decreased, and profits grow.
Pictured: 2,200 HP Gear Box Oil Coolers
Traditional marine condensers use soft, inexpensive copper-nickel tubes with carbon steel tubesheets. The tubesheets are often ‘coated’ with a plastic material, which has a limited service life. This combination is a hotbed for electrolysis, corrosion, and erosion. Failure is just a matter of when, not if.
Typical Cu-Ni service life is between 2 and 4 years, which is great for the factory; they are always selling YOU a new condenser. With Titanium tubes / tubesheets; you’ll never buy another replacement heat exchanger. Titanium is the perfect material for sea water immersive service. It won’t corrode or erode, and fouling is reduced due to the high sea water turbulence in the tubes.
Sometimes the solution is just that simple!
The M/Y Ocean Club has recently installed the first of two generator expansion tank & block coolers. After repeated failures with the manufacturer’s “off the shelf” units, the vessel management decided that ship’s power was too important to risk another failure while at sea, with clients onboard.
It was decided that a “bullet proof” solution was needed so that the vessel would have reliable power with no concerns about cooler failure.
Titanium Marine Technologies designed and built this unit to “drop in” as a replacement to the OEM supplied Cu-Ni cooler. The tank/cooler combination is made from 100% Titanium, utilizing larger tube diameters for a long and trouble-free service life.
Erosion of the tubes due to sandy water will no longer be a problem. Zinc anodes aren’t needed either, as Titanium doesn’t experience electrolysis.
We systematically replaced all the galvanized steel units throughout the Pacific fishing fleet. These titanium condensers are still operating 30 years later; we changed the way the fishing fleets outfit their boats. From there, we began making flooded chillers (evaporators) and the same thing happened; everyone converted to titanium. Our business grew to include North America, South America, the Western Pacific, and Middle Eastern fishing grounds.
As commercial fishing fleets became accustomed to titanium’s superior service life and performance, they began asking for air-conditioning condensers and evaporators. The existing units used freon and were smaller, less robust, and very short-lived.
These copper-nickel units were failing every two to four years, always with the boats in the middle of the ocean, far from shore! Titanium Marine proved that they needed no zinc anodes, very little maintenance and could be driven harder in warm waters. A complete success!
Main engine and turbo intercoolers were next; once again, replacing the copper-nickel units supplied by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s). Hydraulic power units (HPU’s) and gear box coolers were added to the portfolio and generator expansion tanks are now available, too. If salt water is being used for cooling, titanium is the ONLY solution!