ACR Journal

February 2022 | March 2022 REFRIGERATION 28 Marine refrigeration applications have some unique requirements. The harsh environment in which onboard systems operate is a significant factor. Will Pribyl of Green Point UK reports on a global sector with unique challenges and opportunities. Marine refrigeration requires a forensic, high-quality approach Volume 8 No.2 To state the obvious, a ship is an inherently unstable platform, which can affect the operation of onboard mechanical systems in various ways. For example, the constant movement inflicts stresses and strains on marine refrigeration systems that simply aren’t a factor for land-based cooling. Add to this the ever-present issues of water and humidity, which are detrimental to refrigeration systems, and it is not hard to see why equipment reliability in marine applications may not be as good as in terrestrial systems. The compressor sumps in some marine applications, notably reciprocating units, are different from those on land-based systems to ensure sufficient oil to maintain lubrication, despite constant movement and the effects of changing orientation. Confined spaces The physical working environment in onboard plant rooms also challenges those working on the equipment. We are all familiar with the sometimes-cramped conditions of plant rooms for land-based cooling systems. Onboard plant rooms, however, can take this to another level, with refrigeration plant shoe-horned into tight spaces and sited cheek-by-jowl with other items of plant can make access extremely difficult. Moreover, the plant may have been installed during the original build of the ship before plant rooms and holds were fully enclosed. If large items of equipment need to be replaced following a breakdown, access and egress issues can present a challenge for the lift-and-shift teams. Complex supply chains In addition to the immediate plant room issues, the logistics of supporting marine refrigeration can be, to say the least, complex. This logistical problem is because of the distances involved in supply chains, which can span the globe and the diversity of locations where ships may end up in port needing support. As a result, supply chains are often very long, with a combination of general marine suppliers linking with engineering specialists, connected by import-export logistics companies and local agents on the ground. The multiple relationships in this complex web, often operating in different time zones, can result in delays that the end-user can little afford. In addition, information can get lost in One of four BITZER screw compressors from a marine application returned to Green Point for investigation and remanufacturing Will Pribyl

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