AIDA Cruises has replaced ‘AIDAcara’s’ reverse osmosis freshwater generation system with an Evac system.
This has increased the freshwater production capacity, the cruise company claimed.
“The bunkering of water in ports is not only pretty expensive, but in some ports around the world the water quality cannot be guaranteed,” said Timo Kern, Evac Germany’s project manager. “If for some reason you can’t get water in port, then the operational area of your ship is limited.”
But beyond these limitations, the bigger argument is efficiency and sustainability. Modern systems are capable of producing more water than old systems, and they require a smaller footprint and less energy to do so, the company said.
AIDA selected an Evac eC600 system, custom-built to generate fresh water to be used in the galleys, showers, swimming pools or laundries.
The eC600 not only increases the capacity to 600 cu m per day in all seawater temperatures, but also delivers reliability through redundancy, Evac said.
In general, old systems use at least double the energy when compared to modern systems. Savings are even more substantial, however, when a reverse osmosis system replaces an evaporator system.
“Ships nowadays rarely run at full speed,” said Kern, “making water production from evaporator systems very inefficient. With an evaporator system you have to burn extra fuel just to produce the required water. This is a tremendous waste of resources, and it makes a reverse osmosis system the obvious choice for current market conditions.”
Not only was the Evac plant created to be more efficient and reliable, it was also designed to require no modification of the ship’s structures in order to get the components on board. All components were designed to be modular and passed comfortably through an 800 mm corridor.
“For this installation we used two different crews,” said Kern. “One built the foundation, and one built the RO plant.”
Teamwork is critical in retrofits, but even more so when the work must be completed within schedule and with no impact to normal ship operations. “We had a very short timeline,” Kern explained, “but thanks to the very close and good co-operation with the ship’s crew, the outcome was excellent: higher capacity, lower energy consumption, redundancy, with the operation of the ship completely unaffected.”
The retrofit at sea required seven weeks, roughly one week longer than would have been required to complete the same project during a drydock.
“AIDA Cruises is continuously taking into account new environmentally friendly technologies that can be implemented on the ships,” said Sebastian Sala, Head of Innovation and Energy Management, Carnival Maritime GmbH, and responsible for the project on ‘AIDAcara’. “Thanks to this new Evac system, the water quality on board ‘AIDAcara’ is always excellent and consistent. AIDA Cruises can operate its ship worldwide in all destinations without depending on water from shore.”