The Engine Room
Today I got a behind the scenes tour of the ship’s engine room with Joshua Jansen, Chief Engineer.
The first thing we came across was the fuel transfer system. In this area, the engineer can choose which tanks the fuel is drawn from and can choose where to send it. The fuel is stored in six cargo tanks under the ship. The fuel transfer system has a centrifuge which acts like a mechanical filter. This ensures that any water or dirt that might have gotten in the fuel is removed before it is burned.
Here is the water maker. Because the ship is out to sea for many days it is important to be able to make enough water for all of the activities on board. Water is needed for drinking, cooking, cleaning and the science work that is done on the ship. The water maker can produce a half a gallon of fresh water per minute. This is equivalent to 720 gallons per day. The ship does have a storage tank that is filled before leaving the dock, but the desalination device is the main source of water for the ship. Water is pumped up from the sea chest in the bottom of the ship. It is sent through a series of pumps with increasing pressure from 40 PSI to 1000 PSI. This pressure pushes it through a series of tubes which contain membranes. The membrane allows the water to pass through but not the sodium chloride ions. After the salt is removed, the water is then treated by a UV light to kill any harmful bacteria before it is available for use on the ship.
Here are the hydraulics which are used to operate the big trawl winch. The winch is used to raise and lower the nets on the ship. It has a 150 horsepower motor which is larger than most cars.
Next up, the marine sanitation device. This is where the waste water is treated before it is released from the ship. This machine is unique because while some devices use stored chlorine to treat the water, this machine is able to remove chlorine from the sea water and use it to treat the water before it released. (The system of toilets uses salt water taken in directly from the sea but all water used on board is treated before it is returned.)
Here are the fire and dewatering pumps. These would be used in case of an emergency if it was necessary to put out a fire or remove water leaking into the bottom of the boat. The system is accessible from a switch outside the engine room because if there were a dangerous situation in the engine room an inside switch would be hard to access.
Here is the oily water separator device. The separator device makes sure that any oil (usually less than 15 ppm) is removed from water that has collected in the bilge (the bottom part of the hull) before it is pumped out. The left side of the photo also contains the air receivers for the air compressors.
Air compressors that make the air for the air receivers. This is used to start the engines and run power tools used on the ship.
Here is the main engine. It is a Caterpillar D-379 from 1981 and is 565 horsepower.
Here are the two Caterpillar 3406 generators. Each is 175 kilowatt. These generators run all of the power on the boat.
This is the gear shaft. It turns and is attached to the propeller directly connecting to the engine through the gear. The blades of the propeller can be tilted to adjust the pitch of the blades which give more options when the operator wishes to vary the speed of the boat.
This photo attempts to show where the rudders are connected under the boat. The rudders are controlled by the autopilot computer program but can also be adjusted manually if necessary.
So there you have it. A behind the scenes look at what powers a ship and keeps it running!
Teacher At Sea,