The control system does much more than simply governing the functions of the Cathelco BWT system. It monitors the ‘health’ of all the major components and comprehensively logs the data. Beyond this, it has the ability to extract key data in a summary software file which can be used to maintain a Ballast Water Handbook – essential in conforming to IMO requirements.

Main controls

The main controls include:-

  • Ballasting
  • De-ballasting
  • CIP Cleaning
  • Refill
  • Optional tank stripping
  • Automatic switch over fresh water to salt water.

Control options

Depending on vessel size and customer preference, Cathelco can provide a number of control options.

Local control

Local control

All of the functions are controlled from the single automation control unit situated close to the BWT equipment using a touch screen or screen with key pad.

Remote control

Remote control

With remote control, a duplicate control panel is provided in a more convenient location such as the cargo control room or engine control room. This operates in a master/slave relationship with the automation control panel and displays the same data.

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Full integration

By fully integrating the BWT automation system with the ship’s computer system, a single operator can control all of the functions from one location saving considerable time and effort. Integrating the BWT controls with the ship’s IPMS system uses the standard MODBUS protocols. It allows for greater flexibility of control with multiple screens in different areas of the vessel, any of which can be used to control the system.

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How the control system works

The automation control panel screen shows a graphical representation of the system and can be supplied with a touch screen or a screen with a key pad according to customer preference.

At the ‘overview’ level the screen shows a schematic drawing of the pipework and all of the major components.  The user can then access screens covering specific areas including UV reactor performance, the operation of the cleaning in place (CIP) system and other screens which are used for the set-up and commissioning of the system.

The control panel is password protected at three levels for security. The user level allows for day to day operation, the engineering level opens a wider range of functions and there is also a manual mode which enables any element of the system to be controlled for testing purposes.

The automation unit continuously logs all of the data concerning the performance of the BWT system. This includes the ballast tank number, time/date of event, mode of operation, flow rate, temperature, power to UV lamps, UV transmission and calculated UV dose. The UV transmission rate is recorded at 32mm (the distance between the UV source and the edge of the reactor) and also at 10mm according to the Class Body requirements.

Summary Software File

This software simplifies the process of maintaining a Ballast Water Handbook by gathering the essential data from the log files stored in the control panel and presenting it in a form which is easily understood. This includes:

  • Date/time of BWT transfer
  • Tanks used for transfer
  • Mode of operation
  • Average dose rate
  • Average flow rate
  • Average water temperature
  • Total volume of water treated
  • Date/time process completed