NOAA Teacher at Sea
Dieuwertje “DJ” Kast
Aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow
May 19 – June 3, 2015
Mission: Ecosystem Monitoring Survey
Geographical area of cruise: East Coast
Date: June 2, 2015
Chief Engineer Tour of Engine Room!
Selfie with the Chief Engineer! Photo by DJ Kast
John Hohmann, Chief Engineer on NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow. Photo by DJ Kast
SCHEMATICS- Drawn by John
The upper level of the engine room. Drawn out by John Hohmann and photographed by DJ Kast
The lower level of the engine room. Drawn out by John Hohmann and photographed by DJ Kast
Chief Engineer John Hohmann took me on a tour of the Engine room here on NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow. It was fascinating to learn all of the components that make this type of research vessel work. The electrical components, the seawater distillation apparatus, biological sewage treatment, etc. It was an amazing tour. The Bigelow has a diesel-electric drive system using four diesel generators to power to two electric motors. The motors turn one shaft which rotates the propeller. Overall rated horsepower for main propulsion is 3017hp.
The biological system utilizes bacteria to completely break down the sewage into an acceptable substance for discharge into any waters. The extended aeration process provides a climate in which oxygen-loving bacteria multiply and digest the sewage, converting it into a sludge. These oxygen-loving bacteria are known as aerobic. The treatment plant uses a tank which is divided into three watertight compartments: an aeration compartment, settling compartment and a chlorine contact compartment .
The sewage enters the aeration compartment where it is digested by aerobic bacteria and micro-organisms, whose existence is aided by atmospheric oxygen which is pumped in. The sewage then flows into the settling compartment where the activated sludge is settled out. The clear liquid flows to the chlorinator and after treatment to kill any remaining bacteria it is discharged. Tablets are placed in the chlorinator and require replacement as they are used up. The activated sludge in the settling tank is continuously recycled and builds up, so that every two to three months it must be partially removed. This sludge must be discharged only in a decontrolled area. Photo and Caption info by Machinary Spaces.com
The most fascinating part for me was the Evaporator.
The inside Mechanics of the evaporator machine. Photo by: Machinery Spaces.com
Distillation is the production of pure water from sea water by evaporation and re-condensing. Distilled water is produced as a result of evaporating sea water either by a boiling or a flash process. This evaporation enables the reduction of the 32 parts per thousand of dissolved solids in sea water down to the one or two present in distilled water. The machine used is called an ‘evaporator’, although the word ‘distiller’ is also used.
The vacuum in the evaporation machine reduces the pressure to 30 inches of Hg or Mercury to boil water at 180F instead of 212 F
The vacuum in the evaporation machine uses 30 inches of Hg or Mercury to boil water at 180F instead of 212 F. Photo by DJ Kast.
The sea water from the ship’s services is first circulated through the condenser and then part of the outlet is provided as feed to the evaporation chamber. Hot diesel engine jacket water or steam is passed through the heater nest and, because of the reduced pressure in the chamber, the sea water boils. The steam produced rises and passes through a water separator, or demister, which prevents water droplets passing through. In the condensing section the steam becomes pure water, which is drawn off by a distillate pump. The sea water feed is regulated by a flow controller and about half the feed is evaporated. The remainder constantly overflows a weir and carries away the extra salty water or brine. A combined brine and air ejector draws out the air and brine from the evaporator.
Evaporation machine connected to the Ship Service Diesel Generator. Photo by DJ Kast
They need to make their own electricity on board ranging from 110 Volts for phones and computers to 750 Volts for some of the ship propulsion motors. Each of those require various circuit breakers seen below.
480 Volt Circuit Breaker. Photo by DJ Kast
600 Volt Circuit Breaker. Photo by DJ Kast
Its conducting 1000 amps. WOW. Photo by DJ Kast
Air Compressors. Photo by DJ Kast
The air in the compressors is moist and hot so this machine cools it down and removes moisture. Photo by DJ Kast
Air pressure holding tanks. Photo by DJ Kast
Electric Motor Drives. Photo by DJ Kast
Engines and generators. Photo by DJ Kast
Evaporator controls. Photo by DJ Kast
Freshwater Generator. Photo by DJ Kast
Ship Service Diesel Generator (SSDG)! Photo by DJ Kast
Jacket Water Tanks on the SSDG. This water is used to cool the generators. Photo by DJ Kast
Hydraulic pump that operates the cranes. Photo by DJ Kast.
Maintenance Service Board. Photo by DJ Kast.
Motor Controls. Photo by DJ Kast.
Power supply 1, 2D. Photo by Dj Kast.
Oily water separator reduces the water mixed with oil to 115 ppm for overboard discharge. The oil is retained on board. Photo by DJ Kast
Smoke Stacks! Photo by DJ Kast.
Trawling Winch line. Photo by DJ Kast.
Two blue boxes are electric motors connected to the propeller. Photo by DJ Kast.
Third Engineer John is all smiles while he works. Photo by DJ Kast