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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 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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As the inland towing market gears up for the implementation of USCG Sub-Chapter M, a number of issues are coming to the forefront for naval architects and marine engineers. With Sub-Chapter M primarily addressing safety and crew comfort, designers are looking for equipment with reduced noise and vibration signatures. Long term statistics show that noise and vibration have their greatest impact on a person during their off time or rest period. This directly affects crew alertness during work hours.


Designers are now going to greater lengths to design vessels with improved vibration isolation to separate the pilot house and living quarters from the deck level machinery spaces. Among the on board systems that have the greatest impact on sound and vibration are the generator sets. Old-time mariners may remember the old diesel engine and generator end packages that shook and rattled even in light-duty applications.


The new state of the art in marine power generation runs remarkably quiet and smoothly. An interesting phenomenon is taking place in the marine generator industry. For many years, yachts builders have sought generator manufacturers with a commercial customer base. The thought process being that power systems built to the heavy-duty requirements of the commercial industry would be reliable and sturdy enough for the ever-expanding number of requirements made by yachts – and their owners.


Increasingly, we are seeing that the inverse is becoming true. Innovations in generator technology that affect on-board comfort are now being required by commercial operators. Such upgrades may include vibration-reducing isolation mounts, structural steel base frames and even sound enclosures. In addition, shifting emission standards are driving the need for engine add-ons such as turbochargers, advanced fuel injection systems and controls.


Interested in learning more about the state of the art in marine power technology? Contact Northern Lights Gulf at (504) 360-2180 or visit our web site at www.northern-lights.com.

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Analyzing You Load: Ensuring Generator Longevity For The Commercial Operator

When it comes to the selection of a generator set, a number of factors should be considered, and none more important than a thorough and accurate load analysis. In general, the continuous load should be at least 50% of the generator capacity.


The right generator is determined by the total wattage of all equipment that will be operated simultaneously. Selecting a generator that is too small for peak load can make it hard to start motors in high-draw equipment, such as air compressors, winch motors and even air conditioners.   Selecting too large of a generator causes the engine to operate in an under-loaded condition. This leads to carbon build up in the injector and valves, and the potential pumping of raw fuel into the exhaust (“wet stacking”.)


Equipment that uses an electric motor can require up to ten times the running wattage during start up. A good rule of thumb when computing motor loads is to take the running wattage of the largest motor and multiple it by ten. Then add the running wattage of the smaller motors, as well as the wattage of all the other loads, to determine the total load required for those appliances. Sequential starting is a good policy. Start the largest motor loads first, and it will help with starting the smaller consumers.


Balancing loads is of critical importance. All loads which will be used at the same time must be divided up equally among the output phases. For example, don’t put heating loads on one phase and air conditioning loads on the other phases. Improperly balanced loads may cause a loss in voltage on the loaded phase and excessive voltage on the unloaded phase, as well as low output.


Interested in learning more about the state of the art in marine power technology? Contact Northern Lights Gulf at (504) 360-2180 or visit our web site at www.northern-lights.com.

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Northern Lights Enhances Service to Gulf and Inland Waterways Customers With New Branch Office in Louisiana

 SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (USA) – Leading marine power generation and climate control products manufacturer Northern Lights has opened its fifth branch office, in Kenner, Louisiana to enhance service to Gulf and inland waterways boat builders and vessel operators.

The new Northern Lights Gulf branch will employ a full-time sales, parts and service staff.  The branch will warehouse marine, industrial and commercial series products.  It will provide service to customers in the Gulf of Mexico and all navigable inland waterways in the Midwest and Eastern regions of the United States. Important ports including New Orleans, Houston, Pensacola and Paducah will be in the branch service area.

“With the opening of NL Gulf, we are solidifying our commitment to providing the industry’s best support to this important marketplace.”
Northern Lights Vice President and General Manager Brian Vesely

“Brown water operators face challenges and opportunities that are unique in the marine industry,” said Northern Lights Vice President and General Manager Brian Vesely. “They contend with emission and competition requirements that deserve a focused, customer-driven response. With the opening of NL Gulf, we are solidifying our commitment to providing the industry’s best support to this important marketplace,” he added.

Rick Stinson has been appointed NL Gulf Branch Manager. Rick has decades of experience in the Gulf and Inland Waterways boating community, having spent the prior twenty years as Sales Manager for Thrustmaster of Texas, Inc. in support of sales and market development in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the east coast and inland waterways.  He has over 38 years combined experience in the marine industry, including sales for Schottel propulsion systems, sales management for Iveco Aifo, distribution for Volvo Penta Marine and yard management for the original Halter Marine Group.

For the past 27 years, the Gulf and inland waterways has been supported by the Northern Lights South Florida branch, under the leadership of Nathan Price. Having established a highly successful dealer network in the area, this is an appropriate time to open a new branch office to provide a higher level of service for Gulf and inland waterways customers.

Northern Lights family of marine generator sets include products from 5-545kW. Northern Lights Commercial series generator sets include products from 20-150kW.  Technicold offers customized HVAC systems.

For more information about Northern Lights and Technicold products, visit www.northern-lights.com and www.technicold.com.

 About Northern Lights, Inc.

Northern Lights and Technicold are the leading manufacturers of marine power generation, HVAC and refrigeration systems. The company’s products are distributed through a global sales and service network of over 300 dealers in more than 40 countries.

Northern Lights, Inc. – 4420 NW 14th Avenue – Seattle, Washington 98107 USA