Service crew – Technology – Lizard Yacht Service Wins SeaClean European Distribution

Emlyn Jones, Managing Director of Lizard Yacht Service, explains how the system is more than just a clean hull…

Exhaust gas treatment systems are not limited to hull cleaning and water slick removal. Although for many crews and owners the primary benefit is aesthetics, environmental and performance considerations are important. One of the few aftermarket systems is SeaClean, a marine diesel generator soot filtration system that uses variable preheat technology. SeaClean was first launched at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, with exclusive European distribution rights now awarded to Lizard Yacht Services. The first distribution rights awarded outside of the United States by inventor and product owner, Florida-based Richard Boggs.

The bane of many owners and crews, black marks left by generator soot are more than just a cosmetic problem. Creating acidic exhaust with seawater creates a harmful film that is both unsightly, harmful to the environment and corrosive to paintwork. While the clean, white shell is a welcome by-product, a cleaner, more complete burn is the real goal. With only a handful of players in this market, SuperyachtNews speak with Emlyn Jones, Managing Director of Lizard Yacht Service, for a more technical perspective on exhaust treatment, and a brief lesson on the technical details of how this system works.

“Luxury yacht owners want their vessels to be in pristine condition,” Jones begins, “…hull stains from generator exhaust may require cleaning with abrasives. Besides the inconvenience, with the time this repetitive cleaning can damage the hull. Soot pollution from diesel engines has become a major factor in the increased maintenance costs of yachts and other motorboats.”

For a basic overview, Jones explains, “We heat the exhaust from a few hundred degrees to almost eight or nine hundred.” This heating is done with something similar to the heating element of an electric kettle and is powered by lowering the generator itself. “Depending on where the boat is,” Jones continues, “that temperature is then regulated by the control unit (ICU). A boat in the Caribbean versus Antarctica, for example, has different requirements. The gas then passes through a DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) and then to the silencer. It’s as technical as it gets.

“The ICU is a simple pressure sensor,” Jones explains. “Too much pressure and the system increases the temperature to burn more and clean the filter. It’s not rocket science, and we now have a few boats with the system reporting over 5000 generator hours and the DPF only reads approx. 16%”.

The SeaClean system can also act as a load bank system keeping units fully charged even under light load conditions. This prolongs the life of the generator as it avoids glazing of the bores which can occur under underload.

According to Cox Engineering – Bore glazing occurs at low speeds and low loads, particularly resulting from blowing in newer engines. Exhaust gases passing through piston rings in newly built or rebuilt bores can react with oil and wear products, forming a gold colored varnish. Most engine manufacturers warn of the potential problem.

Using the heating elements that make up the SeaClean system to draw power from the generator itself creates its own load bank. Being able to regulate power output helps maintain loads on generators, and therefore diesel combustion efficiency. Other systems may use a secondary load bank system, so Jones points to the benefit of the SeaClean system incorporating this utility as a downstream benefit of the overall system.

With IMO Tier 3 regulations weighing heavily on the superyacht industry, Jones explains the role he sees SeaClean playing. “We can take a Tier Two engine and turn it into Tier Three by installing the system; we have Lloyd’s certification on the DPF unit. We don’t have Lloyd’s certification on the piping because you don’t need it. There are other systems, like urea injection, but we think it’s too early for the Marine sector. ”

The engine room is the heart of the vessels operations, and many are as striking as any of the other focal points of yacht design. However, reflecting on a recent project, Jones concludes by pointing out some of the engine room shortcomings that could creep into the market. “Something that I find a lot of yards overlook, not so much the northern European yards, but certainly some of the newer yards, is that they seem to be more focused on the aesthetics of the boat, and the room machines seems like an afterthought So many engineers now that I talk to will say something like, Well my service side is the port side of the engine and I can’t get to it or do a simple job like putting the flow meter to check the piping and everything else because everything is piled up. It creates problems.”

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