A Cleaner Machine
SeaClean offers a solution to transom and hull soot stains from your diesel generator’s exhaust.
By Capt. Ken Kreisler
Ever since the first internal combustion engine was fired up, making both our work and pleasure time increasingly easier, we’ve had to deal with the compounding negative results of what comes out of the exhaust pipe. Advances in design and technology are protecting the environment while improving performance, but the tradeoff is still not very pretty. Noxious fumes, including dangerous carbon monoxide, the now-familiar greenhouse gases along with a host of other sundry materials, and the scourge of many a transom and hull, the staining particulate matter, primarily soot, are still ever-present even in today’s high-tech and compliant diesel power plants and generators.
“Diesel particulate matter has been shown to be a health risk,” said Jorge Lang, Operations Manager for Ft. Lauderdale-based DeAngelo Marine Exhaust, a respected company whose expertise in the field is well-known, as we discussed the problem. “In addition, many of these particles will embed themselves in the microscopic pores that are present even in the highest quality hull finish.”
As we all know, the latter notion Lang is alluding to is the damage that can result from attempts, with a seemingly endless range of cleaning aids, to remove the unsightly stains, known around the dock as ‘soot islands’, coming from the generator exhaust.
The solution seemed to lie in being able to stop the soot at the source. “We were called in to fix some filter problems with a generator’s catalytic converter by Richard Boggs, the former Technical Superintendent with Camper & Nicholsons as well as being the inventor of the SeaClean System,” said Lang.
As Lang described it, a catalytic converter works best with higher exhaust temperatures and as long as it stays that way, the system will function properly and more efficiently. “After that, we came up with the idea of using the generator’s excess electrical capacity to heat up the exhaust gases.”
Taking this information, Lang and Boggs were able to successfully modify a number of generator’s on several yachts resulting in a positive outcome. Knowing they were onto something, Boggs and DeAngelo partnered up and came up with a collective system.
According to Lang, the SeaClean Diesel Particulate Filter System is able to capture 95 percent or better of the soot and other materials in the generator’s exhaust flow that would otherwise be discharged into the atmosphere, the water, and on to the hull. It does this by first heating the exhaust gas before it enters the filter housing and then traps the particles, unburned fuel, and lube oil in the filter medium, reducing them to carbon dioxide and water vapor. In addition, much of the all too familiar odor associated with diesel exhaust is also eliminated. For maintenance, the filter element can be removed on a periodic cleaning schedule.
“Unlike other particulate filters which depend on high generator loads to create exhaust temperatures, exhaust is delivered to the filter at the correct temperature and thereby eliminates soot and the hydrocarbons associated with diesel smells and oil slicks,” explained Lang. This ability to have the trapped soot and unburned hydrocarbons delivered to the filter element is known as regeneration.
To insure the highest level of particulate removal and longest possible filter life between cleanings, SeaClean incorporates an electrically powered exhaust gas heater, which adjusts power consumption in relation to the load on the generator and its exhaust gas temperature. This means that when the generator is operating at a low load (and at its dirtiest) the heater maintains the correct exhaust temperature into the filter to achieve constant regeneration.
As generator load increases and exhaust temperature rises, the power delivered to the heater is smoothly reduced until the point where exhaust temperature is sufficient to maintain regeneration. The heater then consumes no power and the system does not draw on the yacht’s power distribution system. Full generator power is available to carry the load. At low output energy operations, the heater will function as an exhaust cooled load bank to provide a healthy electrical base load as well as keep the filter operating correctly.
The SeaClean System also incorporates a data logger and display for set points and exhaust temperatures, back pressure indicator and, for immediate operational oversight, historical reference of the system’s performance. An alarm for high back pressure can be interfaced with any alarm and monitoring system.
“Right now, we’re working on boats 160-feet and above and have gotten great results,” said Lang. “But we are just waiting for the right opportunity to someone to ask us to have a go at their 70-footer. And after that, well we’re looking at developing a system for main engines as well. It’s all within reach.”
If you’re tired of having a dirty hull because of soot stains from your diesel generator, give Lang a call. He just may have the right kind of solution for your particular situation.
DeAngelo Marine Exhaust, 3330 S.W. 2nd Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33315.
954-763-3005 ext. 320. 954-467-8133 (fax). http://www.deangelomarine.com