Author Archives: Scott Putnicki

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Northern Lights Welcomes Jim Kelly to Gulf Sales Team

Jim Kelly has joined the Northern Lights sales team in the role of Area Sales Manager. Jim will be based out of the Northern Lights Gulf Branch with a territory including the Western Gulf of Mexico and Inland Waterways.

Prior to joining Northern Lights Jim was a Regional Sales Manager for Thrustmaster in Texas. Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and commitment to the needs of the inland waterways commercial operator. In addition to working closely with our Dealers, Jim will work with naval architects, shipyards and vessel operators on building Northern Lights and Technicold business. Welcome aboard, Jim!

 


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LR Foundation Launches Campaign to Identify Biggest Threats to Safety

The Lloyd’s Register Foundation aims to make a real difference in improving the safety of the critical infrastructure on which modern society relies. It recently launched a consultation to identify the grand challenges to safety at the Lloyd’s Register Foundation International Conference in London.

The consultation to identify the challenges will open today until January 2017, and asks industry, workers and consumers where is safety most compromised either from working with, or arising from poorly functioning infrastructure? Once it has identified these challenges it will ask ‘What can we do about them to make the world a safer place?’.

Dr. Ruth Boumphrey, the Foundation’s Director of Research, said: “Every day billions of people around the world need energy, water, food, transport and other services that make-up society’s critical infrastructure. These infrastructures and their supply chains rely on people to build, operate and maintain them. Our safety is threatened when these infrastructures fail and the safety of those who operate and maintain these infrastructures can be threatened by the environments in which they work .”

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Making The Right Choice for Onboard Comfort

It’s a story as old as manned sea-craft itself – how do you provide climate control that is suitable for the entire crew? Crew comfort is a key consideration for retention and regulation. Your crew works hard, but disputes about the amount of air conditioning or heating, and when and where to turn it on, have been inevitable.

The Marine Climate Control Experts at Technicold recommend individual compartment controls.  This will maximizes crew comfort while minimizing management headaches.

A world-class line of chilled water and direct-expansion air handlers will be designed to fit easily in almost any berth or compartment. When specking climate control, look for features including vertical assembly and rotatable insulated blowers.

There are other ways to enhance onboard comfort and safety. Electric heat strips and immersion heaters provide cold environment solutions. Install a dash heater in the pilot house to defrost the window, enhancing safety. Anti-bacterial UV lamps eliminate odors and improve air quality.

And if that still isn’t enough to keep the peace on board, look for locking control panels – just set it and forget it.

contoller locked

The experts at Technicold will help layout a complete climate control system through superior engineering and marine class components. For maximum onboard comfort the answer is simple: Technicold marine air conditioning.


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Technicold Condensing Coils – How a Small Detail Makes a Huge Impact

In the world of vessel design, climate control is an important factor. But one of the most critical factors in the quality of the air conditioning system is one that is easy to overlook – the condenser coil.

Many manufacturers use copper coils that are subject to failure from sitting coolant and corrosion. The Marine Climate Experts at Technicold have a better way.

condensor coil

Technicold uses only large, single pass fluted coaxial cupronickel counter-flow condensing coils.   That is a lot of features packed into a small component, so let’s break it down:

  • Large coil size ensures efficient coolant delivery.
  • The fluted design prevents sitting coolant and water that can lead to corrosion.
  • Cupornickel is a robust alloy that is known for its resistance to oxidation.
  • The counter flow condenser allows low sea water velocity for even condensing.

This level of attention is only one of many examples of the thoughtful engineering that goes into every Technicold product. Made specifically for the harsh marine environment, Technicold chilled water air conditioning systems feature 316L grade stainless steel hardware and low-condensation design to ensure the best long-term value in the marine industry.

The experts at Technicold will help layout a complete climate control system through superior engineering and marine class components. For maximum onboard comfort the answer is simple: Technicold marine air conditioning.


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Electric and Diesel – A Match Made in Heaven for the Commercial Operator

Courtesy of Power and Motoryacht

By George L. Petrie

Rising fuel costs are always a concern.  As a result, achieving improvements in fuel economy has become a high priority throughout the marine industry, as it has in many other segments of business. Engine manufacturers have risen to the challenge, delivering sophisticated new power plants that not only burn less fuel but also produce fewer emissions. However, the fact remains that diesel engines will generally run most efficiently when they’re operating near their full rated capacity.

M38CR

And that poses a problem for vessels in commercial service. For example, tugboats have big engines to develop lots of towing power but may spend much of their time operating at well below their maximum towing capacity. Or consider that crew and supply boats in the offshore industry must run at high speed to and from oil rigs that may be 100 miles or more from shore, where they then spend several hours idling alongside the rig while supplies and personnel are transferred. And last but not least, there are cruise ships, floating cities with power requirements that vary substantially, depending on whether the ship is in port or underway.

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Northern Lights congratulates Hunt Associates on 50 Years

Hunt1

New Bedford, MA – C. Raymond Hunt Associates, a boat design firm that continues to expand on the legacy of its founder, C. Raymond Hunt, to produce innovative boats with rugged seaworthiness, is now celebrating its 50th year.

“Ray Hunt was a genius, able to intuitively know how boats work and with the courage to experiment. We have taken Ray’s ideas and applied them, honing our expertise and knowledge from the days of the early deep-v hulls. Now we have an 11-meter RIB on virtually every large ship in the U.S. Navy, designed the vast majority of American pilot boats, and helped boat builders develop new products in new markets across the marine industry,” said C. Raymond Hunt Associates President, Winn Willard.

 

Ray Hunt’s innovative approach to design resulted in several transformative designs in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The Boston Whaler 13 and the Bertram 31 changed the paradigm of the fast powerboat. The Concordia Yawl and the 5.5-meter sailboats were trophy winners especially with Ray at the helm.

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Don’t Be Left Out in The Cold – Electric Heat Solutions from Technicold

When it comes to on-board heating solutions you have a choice. Technicold – producers of the state of the art in marine climate control systems – recommends a safe, reliable electric heat solution. See below to learn more about the advantages electric heat enjoys over reverse cycle.

MV34_Stuart_FL

CONSIDER THE ENVIRONMENT

With a chilled water cooling system, both electric and reverse cycle systems are available to provide heat to your boat. However, there are many factors that go into choosing the right solution, including one that may not be obvious when considering the comfort of your interior – your exterior.

Electric heat is produced through your boat’s internal power source. Reverse cycle, however, is powered by a heat pump which transfers heat from one source to another. In the case of at an-sea environment, that external source is the ambient water.

Reverse heat has a limited range of operating conditions. Its ideal condition is in water that is 60o Fahrenheit. You may never encounter a problem with reverse heat if you can guarantee a water temperature of 60o – say, in the world’s largest bath tub!

Real world conditions, of course, are not that accommodating. Problems can manifest with reverse heat systems that are exposed to temperatures above 60o, or below 40o. Because there is not enough heat available in water temperatures below 40o, the reverse cycle system can short cycle on the low pressure switch. This leads to coil freezing and liquid slugging in the compressor. In extreme cold, the raw water condenser coil can even freeze and rupture. In other words, during the times when you need interior heating the most, reverse cycle heating is most vulnerable to failure.

Electric heat, on the other hand, is powered by the boat’s main AC source, and is therefore not subject to the variances of external temperature. The electric system design prevents the wear and tear on the compressors and raw water pump associated with the on and off cycling of a reverse heat system. Electric heat is also a much quieter option – there is no compressor or reversing valve noise as is present in a reverse heat system.

OPTIMAL VERSATILITY

Electric heat on chilled water systems is available through two different conveyances: immersion heat or heat strips. For immersion heat, a heat core is added to the condenser, which heats the entire loop. This is a good option for smaller boats, or scenarios where the entire boat must be kept at a consistent temperature. Heat and cooling is controlled through a single central control panel.

immersion-heater_1

Heat strips provide another heating option. Each air handler on a chilled water system can be equipped with its own heat strip, which can then be individually controlled by separate control panels. Each space on a boat can be temperature controlled as required. Heat strips are a good option for larger yachts and charter vessels. Grandma can turn up the heat in her berth, while the kids bouncing on the beds in their cabins remain cool.

2-stage immersion heater with flow switch2 b&w

DON’T BE LEFT HIGH AND DRY

Another scenario where electric heat is preferable is when the boat is out of the water. During refit or repair work – or even in winter storage – it is not possible to heat a dry boat with reverse heat. There is no seawater for the pumps to draw from. Because electric heat is provided by the boat’s AC power, it can be turned on at any time the generators are operating. Since most repair work is done in off-peak (winter) months, the work crew, engineers and anyone else on board will appreciate a heating option.

Your choice of climate control is important. Selecting a heating solution that is independent, versatile and efficient will provide long-term value and enhance your boating experience. Contact your nearest Technicold representative or visit our web site to learn more about the state of the art in marine heat, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration.

 


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Technicold Presents: The Commercial Operator’s Monthly HVAC Checklist

Downtime is never an option in the commercial marine industry.  But working with poorly functioning air conditioning in the summer months is unpleasant at best and a legitimate safety hazard at worst.  The marine HVAC experts at Technicold have the tips you need to make sure that your AC unit is ready for long summer nights.  Here are a few items that should be checked every month:   

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Electric and Diesel – a Match Made in Heaven

Courtesy of Power and Motoryacht

By George L. Petrie

Rising fuel costs are always a concern.  As a result, achieving improvements in fuel economy has become a high priority throughout the marine industry, as it has in many other segments of business. Engine manufacturers have risen to the challenge, delivering sophisticated new power plants that not only burn less fuel but also produce fewer emissions. However, the fact remains that diesel engines will generally run most efficiently when they’re operating near their full rated capacity.

M1306_01

And that poses a problem for recreational as well as commercial craft. Many yachts are fitted with engines capable of delivering speeds of 20, 30, 40 knots or more, yet their owners cruise at far slower speeds most of the time. While they’ll certainly burn less fuel at reduced speed, those big engines are not performing with maximum efficiency at very low load factors.

The problem can be even more acute for vessels in commercial service. For example, tugboats have big engines to develop lots of towing power but may spend much of their time operating at well below their maximum towing capacity. Or consider that crew and supply boats in the offshore industry must run at high speed to and from oil rigs that may be 100 miles or more from shore, where they then spend several hours idling alongside the rig while supplies and personnel are transferred. And last but not least, there are cruise ships, floating cities with power requirements that vary substantially, depending on whether the ship is in port or underway.

One of the ways that cruise-ship owners, tug-boat operators, and others in the commercial sector have confronted the problem posed by widely varying power requirements is to use diesel-electric propulsion systems. Rather than having a diesel engine drive the propellers directly, a diesel-electric system typically uses multiple diesel-powered gensets to produce electricity, which then powers an electric motor that turns a propeller shaft.

Using the diesel engine to make electricity, then using that electricity to drive an electric motor seems like a woefully inefficient process. And if power demand is constant, a diesel-electric drive can be slightly (about five percent) less efficient. But for circumstances where power demand is widely variable, the versatility of the diesel-electric system can yield big dividends, because gensets can be brought on line or shut down as power demand changes.

Other than efficiency, one of the big advantages of a diesel-electric drive system is that big propulsion engines need not be located in line with the prop shaft; electric motors of the same kilowatt capacity are generally much smaller. This allows the yacht designer more latitude in deciding where to locate the gensets. And, in fact, the propulsion motors do not even have to be located inside the hull. One notable implementation of diesel-electric propulsion is the Azipod, developed by the German firm ABB. The Azipod system utilizes an electric motor mounted externally in a pod beneath the hull. The motor drives a fixed-pitch propeller mounted at one end of the pod, and the entire pod is free to turn 360 degrees. By locating the motors outside of the hull, problems like alignment, noise, and vibration that are associated with a conventional shaft, strut, and bearing drive train are eliminated. Moreover, because the pods can turn, they offer extraordinary maneuverability compared to a normal shaft and rudder system on a boat.

One of the early adaptors of Azipod propulsion in the megayacht arena is the German builder Lurssen. It had a client who demanded that his yacht (originally named Air but now named Ice) be as clean and environmentally friendly as possible, with low emissions, minimum vibration, and sound levels like that of a cat on plush carpet. (The yacht’s emissions standards are so stringent, the yard proudly touts her as its response to the Kyoto agreement.)

To meet these criteria the yacht was fitted with eight diesel gensets, mounted in pairs on elastically supported foundations located in four separate rooms. The yacht’s power-management system is designed to maintain the gensets operating as close as possible to 95 percent of rated capacity, their peak efficiency. Moreover, the diesel in each genset is fitted with a “soot” cleaning system (not feasible for large main-propulsion engines) that continually cleans the exhaust gas.

Because the Azipod has no struts or shafts, it operates in largely undisturbed water, so it creates much smaller pressure pulses on the hull as the propeller turns. That, coupled with the absence of bearings and gearboxes, makes for much less noise and vibration in the hull. After running the yacht for more than 18 months, the captain and the chief engineer have found that the system is easy to maintain, and they are quite satisfied with its performance.

The system on Benetti ‘s recently delivered Ambrosia III is similar, but with only two main gensets powering a pair of 1,070-kW Azipod propulsion units. Complementing the main gensets is a pair of smaller  units located in a soundproof compartment; the smaller units are used for station keeping and for leisurely cruising at speeds of up to about 9 knots.

As long as forward thinking shipyards like Lurssen and Benetti remain open to out of the box power systems, creative solutions can be found.  Northern Lights manufactures a line of fully customizable generator sets, up to 545kW – 60 Hz (475 kW – 50 Hz), ready to respond to the challenge.

Formerly a professor of naval architecture at the University of New Orleans, George Petrie is a professor of naval architecture at the Webb Institute and continues to provide consulting services to small craft designers, ship operators, and other members of the marine industry.

 


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