Ultrasonic Antifouling systems and Impressed Current Anti Fouling systems compared
Ultrasonic antifouling is a cost-efficient alternative for Impressed Current Anti Fouling (ICAF) systems. Here is a brief cost comparison:
To protect an average size box-cooler and the sea chest in which it is mounted, 4 transducers are needed. 2 on top of the box cooler itself, 2 on the sea chest walls. The cost of such a system would be around 4000 Euros. Installation is so simple, it is normally done by the ship’s crew, in half a day or so. Installation material amounts to no more than a tube of glue, included in the 4000 Euros. Actually, we sell a good part of our systems in Singapore, we simply ship the system there, and the ship’s crew installs it. In Europe we send the system simply to the next port of call where the ship is loading/changing crew. Normally, before the ship leaves port, the system is up and running.
Now a comparable ICAF system would cost around the same, 4000 Euros.
However, installation cannot be done by the crew, and moreover, the ship needs to go into dry dock.
Minimum installation costs would be:
- 1 work day for an ICAF/ICCP engineer; 850 Euros
- 8 workdays for general wharf staff; 8×500= 4000 Euros
Installation material is hard to calculate, differs very much from case to case, but let’s put it at an absolute minimum of 150 Euros.
Docking costs vary seasonally and also from country to country. We shall therefore not put any number to it, but any shipowner knows how costly docking is, both direct costs and opportunity costs.
So, calculating an I Impressed Current Anti Fouling installation without a single hiccup, and ignoring docking costs, the ultrasonic antifouling system would cost 4000 Euros, the Impressed Current Anti Fouling for the same application would cost 10.000 Euros.
There is more, however. An ultrasonic antifouling system is maintenance free! In contrast, the anodes of an Impressed Current Anti Fouling need to be replaced every 2 to 3 years. Again an expensive operation, not only the price of the anodes themselves but again labor and docking costs.
An ultrasonic antifouling system has no moving parts and is installed completely ‘dry’, on the inside of the ship. No cables through the ship’s hull. Hence much lower vulnerability. No risk of leakage currents with active corrosion as a result. A major offshore company in Norway, now a client of ours, had a number of emergency dockings last year; something went wrong with the Impressed Current Anti Fouling wiring, the sea chest of the vessel started functioning as cathode, resulting in large parts of the sea chest wall needed to be cut out and replaced.
Installation at FWN Solide, while the ship is offloading
Drydocking and cutting open the sea chest grating to work on the ICAF system