UV-Mon - An Integrated and Modular Bio-Monitoring Ballast Water Treatment System based on Advanced UV Plasma Technology Delivering Maximum Performance and Lowest System Lifetime Cost
Ballast Water poses a significant threat to the environment since it contains invasive species which are discharged to sea. The cost for controlling invasive species is very high (€9.6 - €12.7 billion). Prevention is better, hence the IMO introduced standards in 2004 (due to come into force). The Convention requires ships to have Ballast Water Treatment (BWT) system installed by 2016. BWT is an evolving technology. However, it is generally accepted across industry that viable BWT consist of at least 2 stages targeting both macro and micro IS separately. Filtration is generally as the 1st stage and according to a Lloyd register survey and one we conducted ourselves, UV seem to be relatively the most preferred 2nd stage treatment as the water treated by UV seems to have the least effect on the environment and the ship. UV treated water is less likely to cause corrosion of the ballast tanks compared to other commonly used treatment such as Electrolysis. However, they have the highest operation cost/m3 and their performance can be affected by water turbidity and frigidity. Hence, as UV is the most preferred and with the highest cost of ownership, the rest of the market will migrate towards UV systems if effort can be made to reduce the ownership cost and overall performance issues for a given water turbidity and frigidity level. The highest cost for UV is energy needed for a given dose, maintenance and replacement of UV lamps. We have identified a way we would be able to reduce the operation cost of using UV still with a high efficacy under difficult water conditions. The UV-Mon project will aim to develop an integrated and modular BWT system that intelligently combines a novel electromagnetic wave generated UV plasma treatment system with information from a bio-monitoring system (micro-organisms concentration level and water quality/turbidity indicator) in order to optimise the UV dosage required at filling/discharge to completely eliminate the viable micro-organisms.