Air Treatment

Capt. K. De Baere

Introduction

Air quality in the cargo holds is important, damage that can be caused by inadequate ventilation; Damage to the cargo
  


 

Overheating of the cargo Depreciation of the cargo Rotting of the cargo Contamination by odour Accumulation of inflammable, toxic and noxious gasses Spontaneous combustion of the cargo

Introduction

Damage to the ship
Sweating of ship and cargo  Staining of the holds  Oxidation of the ships structure

Purpose Ventilation and Conditioning

  

Controlling humidity – Absorption and condensation as a consequence of temperature variations Controlling dust during cargo operations Controlling oxygen Evacuation of;
   

Contaminating vapours Exhaust gas on board of Ro-Ro’s Explosive cargo gas by means of IG on board of tankers Toxic gas

Purpose Ventilation and Conditioning
Managing temperature  Managing chemical composition of the hold atmosphere

IG on board of tankers  Ripening (maturing) process on board of fruit carriers (N2, CO2 en ethylene)

Ventilation
Natural ventilation  Mechanical ventilation

Natural Ventilation

Use the natural circulation of air
Wind  Natural movements of the air f.i. warm air rises and cold air comes down (convection)

This natural ventilation is realized by;
Ventilation ducts  Opening and/or closing of hatch covers

Air ducts - ventilators

Composing elements
 

Ventilator coaming Ventilator cowl

Ventilator cowl can be rotated so the « ventilator » can be used as supply duct as well as evacuation duct.

Ventilators – not mechanical

Provision of an eductor improves the evacuation of air (Venturi principle)

Ventilation cowls

Ventilators – not mechanical

Inside the ventilator coaming a metal cross is provided to prevent the passage of thieves or stowaways The ventilator cowl is closed by a grid
 

Fire screen To prevent the passage of unwanted objects

In case of very bad weather the air ducts (cowls) on deck can be removed and the openings are closed by means of a metal lid

In case of bad weather the ventilation cowls are turned and covered

Ventilators – not mechanical

Openings in deck are closed after removal of the ventilation cowls

Lid with wheel and threaded shaft Canvas cover

Ventilators – not mechanical
In case of bad weather the ventilator cowls are swivelled in the opposite direction of the wind and covered with canvas  Samson posts are often used as ventilator ducts and are provided with mushroom shaped caps

Non-mechanical ventilation (bad picture)

Provisions to block the entrance of water It must be possible to close these ventilators by means of a « damper » in case of fire or when the outside humidity is to high Open – Closed indication

Samson Post

Ventilation caps

Mushroom ventilators

First ‘assisted’ ventilation – wind sails with 2 or 4 sails

Problems related to natural ventilation

Insufficient capacity Incorrect positioning of the air ducts

Corners of the hold are insufficiently ventilated Positioned so that they are exposed to the weather conditions, green water and seas on deck => they have to remain closed => insufficient ventilation

Insufficient number of ducts on each side of the hold (ventilation is interrupted by a temporary separation in the hold f.i. by the cargo)

Problems related to natural ventilation

Hot and damp air escaping from the cargo is captured between the deck stringers => condensation

Problems related to natural ventilation

Ventilation is improved by providing ventilation holes in frames, deck stringers and brackets

Problems related to natural ventilation


If the ventilation tunnels are not going deep enough only a surface ventilation is provided This is OK for coal or other bulk cargoes but not for general cargo Sometimes special constructions are provided to allow adequate ventilation inside the cargo

Inside ventilation


Rice and Soya beans These products release a lot of humidity and CO2 during transport => must be evacuated Tank top is covered with dunnage and separation cloth 1 layer of bags is spread out On top of these bags the ventilation ducts are installed

Inside ventilation

On the intersection between the longitudinal and transversal duct a vertical duct is constructed After 3 to 5 layers of bags the whole constructing is repeated

Problems related to natural ventilation

 

This can be solved when the inlet ducts are extended till the bottom of the compartment The cold air on the bottom will rise to the top of the hold Outlet ducts to be provided at or near the top of the cargo hold The inlet ducts are provided with flaps allowing surface ventilation

Natural ventilation is regulated by trimming the cowls

Natural ventilation

A lot of hot damp air can be evacuated when the hatches are opened and all of the cowls are turned towards the wind This is very effective in cold regions

Natural ventilation – smoother method

All cowls are turned away from the wind => the hot air is sucked out (warm air rises)

Mechanical ventilation
The only difference with natural ventilation is that mechanical ventilators – fans – are used  Fans are reversible  Operation is electrical  Fans are operated from the bridge or E.R.  The ventilation ducts can be opened or closed on each level by means of flaps

Mechanical ventilation

Mechanical ventilation is very important on ferries, Ro-Ro’s, lash etc. Air is refreshed several times per hour

Mechanical ventilation on board of a PCC = Pure Car Carrier

Mechanical ventilation
Capacity of the ventilation system is expressed by the number of air changes per hour  On board of a car carrier the capacity during sea voyage must be 10 changes per hour this will be increased till at least 20 changes per hour during loading and discharging operations

Distribution of ventilators on board of a ro-ro ship

Air conditioning

Psychometrics
Study of the thermodynamics and the humidity of air  Important on deciding if an air treatment method is appropriate  Psychometrics or hygrometry is the study of how the properties of moist air can change as a result of air conditioning processes.

Atmospheric air

Air consists out of;
78% N2,  21% O2,  0.01 à 0.02% H2O  small quantities of inert gas (noble gases)  contaminating particles

When we remove the humidity and the contaminating particles we obtain dry air

Psychrometer
By means of a psychrometer we can measure the hygrometric state of the air  A psychrometer consists out of a wet and a dry bulb  Because of the evaporation the wet bulb will indicate a lower temperature  Relative humidity can be determined by means of special tables

Humidity

Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the air and can be described in different ways.

Absolute humidity [gr/m3]
1.

2.

The ratio of the mass of water vapour to the volume occupied by a mixture of water vapour and dry air. Mass of water contained in a unit volume of moist air.

Actual vapour pressure

The partial pressure exerted by the water vapour present in a parcel. Water in a gaseous state (i.e. water vapour) exerts a pressure just like the atmospheric air. Vapour pressure is also measured in millibar.

Saturation of air

The condition under which the amount of water vapour in the air is the maximum possible at the existing temperature and pressure. Condensation or sublimation will begin if the temperature falls or water vapour is added to the air.

Table van Regnault – saturation vapour pressure
Temp [°C] 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Press [mb] 6.1 8.7 12.3 17.1 23.3 31.7 42.4 56.3

Table Regnault

Dew point

The temperature air would have to be cooled to in order for saturation to occur. The dew point temperature assumes there is no change in air pressure or moisture content of the air.

Relative humidity

The amount of water vapour actually in the air divided by the amount of water vapour the air can hold. Relative humidity is expressed as a percentage and can be computed in a variety of ways. One way is to divide the actual vapour pressure by the saturation vapour pressure and then multiply by 100 to convert to a percent

Dry bulb temperature

The dry-bulb temperature of air is measured by a thermometer which is freely exposed to the air but is shielded from radiation and moisture

Wet bulb temperature

The Wet-bulb Temperature of air is measured by a thermometer whose bulb is covered by a muslin sleeve which is kept moist with distilled and clean water, freely exposed to the air and free from radiation

Sling psychrometer - animated

Sling psychrometer

Sling psychrometer

Relative humidity

Psychometric charts

The psychometric chart is a useful design tool for ventilation purposes. The chart presents a number of properties of moist air:
     

dry-bulb temperature sling wet-bulb temperature moisture content specific enthalpy specific volume percentage saturation

Psychometric charts

Psychometric chart

Psychometric charts simplified

At first glance, even a simple psychometric chart appears complex. However, separating the various lines and scales on the chart simplifies understanding their location, meaning and use.

Dry bulb temperature

The dry bulb temperature scale is located at the base of the chart. Vertical lines indicate constant dry bulb temperature

Wet bulb temperature

 

Wet bulb temperature reflects the cooling effect of evaporating water At 100% relative humidity wet = dry bulb temperature. When the relative humidity decreases (to the right on the diagram), wet bulb temperature will also decrease The wet bulb temperature scale is located along the curved upper left portion of the chart. The sloping lines indicate equal wet bulb temperatures

Dew point temperature

Dew point temperature is the temperature below which moisture will condense out of air.(saturated) The dew point temperature scale is located along the same curved portion of the chart as the wet bulb temperature scale. However, horizontal lines indicate equal dew point temperatures

Relative humidity

Lines representing conditions of equal relative humidity sweep from the lower left to the upper right of the psychometric chart. The 100 % relative humidity (saturation) line corresponds to the wet bulb and the dew point temperature scale line. The line for zero percent relative humidity falls along the dry bulb temperature scale line.

Example 1

Moist air is at 80°F (dry bulb) and 50 percent relative humidity. What are the other properties of this air?

Wet

bulb temperature 67°F Dew point temperature 59°F

Example 2 – image is not correct

The air in a cargo hold has a dry bulb temperature of 80° F and is at 70 percent relative humidity. How warm do the bulkheads have to be to prevent condensation?

The dew point temperature is 69°F. The bulkhead temperature must be warmer than this to prevent condensation.

Practical Ventilation On Board

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An important cause of damage to cargo and ship is an excessive humidity in the cargo holds This humidity can already be present in the hold but can also be introduced by ventilation The humidity may condense on the on the inner shell or bulkhead => ships sweat The humidity may condense on the cargo => cargo sweat

Consequences of an excessive humidity
Ship’s sweat  Cargo sweat  Foodstuff becoming mouldy  Fungus  Rust and oxidation of the ship’s structural elements  Rotting wood

Practical Ventilation On Board

 

If the relative humidity is < 30% non of the above mentioned problems will arise. Natural ventilation wants to replace the air in the holds with dryer air (< relative humidity) In case of low outside temperature the relative warm hold air will condense in the exhaust ventilation shafts => humidity runs back into the hold => damage. This is especially the case when high exhaust air shafts are used f.i. Samson posts. Sometimes ventilation has to be stopped at night

Practical Ventilation On Board
Suppose air temperature – dry bulb – 19°  Vapour tension is 14mb (absolute humidity)  At 19°C saturation vapour tension is 22mb (see Regnault – next slide)  Relative humidity is 14/22x100% = 63.6%  At 12°C saturation vapour tension is 14mb  => the temperature has to drop to 12°C before condensation will occur

Table Regnault

Practical Ventilation On Board

Air will condensate on every surface with a temperature < or = 12°C A ship loaded with agricultural products (high humidity) going to colder regions => a lot of condensation on the ship skin (will take over lower outside air- and sea temperatures quickly) Solution: replace the hold atmosphere with dryer air (air with a lower dew point)

Practical Ventilation On Board

Cargo sweat
    

Cargo products that have been stored ashore in refrigerated spaces On board of ships going warmer regions Cargo will take over the outside temperature slower that the ships structure Condensation of the warm air on the colder cargo surfaces = Cargo sweat Especially important on steel products, tins, cardboard boxes etc.

Practical Ventilation On Board

Heat or cold, generated on board, can also bring about cargo- or ship sweat Poorly isolated boiler rooms or engine rooms radiate heat => condensation on colder ship or cargo surfaces Bulkheads in the neighbourhood of cooled or refrigerated spaces => condensation of the warmer surrounding atmosphere The air that comes in contact with these colder surfaces will cool down=> higher relative humidity => condensation & absorption by hygroscopic products

Montreal -> Vancouver via Panama

Explanation

First 3 days and the last 5 days

Sweating of the ship

Dew point of the outside air < temp of the cargo (no condensation on the cargo) Air temp < cargo temp => hold temperature will rise under influence of the warm cargo Ship will cool faster than the cargo => possible condensation on the inner hull

From day 4 till day 19

Sweating of the cargo

Dew point of the outside air > temp of the cargo => condensation on contact (cold cargo and hot air)

When ventilating?
Dew point of the outside air < dew point of the hold air => atmosphere of the hold will become dryer  Temperature of ships structure and cargo must be > dew point of the air if not cargoor ship sweat will occur.

Drying of air

Drying of air

Drying of air means – extract the water
1.

2.

By cooling the air. Humidity will condensate and can be evacuated. Air is heated again afterwards By using hygroscopic substances absorbing the humidity

1.

Cooling of air
2.

3.

4.

The compressor compresses cool Freon gas, causing it to become hot, high-pressure Freon gas (red in the diagram above). This hot gas runs through a set of coils so it can dissipate its heat, and it condenses into a liquid. The Freon liquid runs through an expansion valve, and in the process it evaporates to become cold, low-pressure Freon gas (light blue in the diagram above). This cold gas runs through a set of coils that allow the gas to absorb heat and cool down the air inside the building.

Mechanical drying systems

Composing elements
      

Closed circuit with containing a cooling medium (freon) Compressor Condenser – liquefies the freon Liquefied freon is collected in a pressure vessel The cooling medium is released by means of an expansion valve The medium is passed trough an evaporator (heat exchanger) The air is cooled => condensation

Psychometric chart showing the drying process
1.
2. 3.

Start of the cooling process Saturation (dew point) is reached Temperature drops and humidity condensates. Humidity ratio has dropped from 80% to  45%

Drying IG on board of a tanker

1.

Compressing and cooling of IG

Drying IG on board of a tanker

2.

Drying of the IG with PSA (Pressure Swing Absorbtion)

PSA - systeem

Drying systems using hygroscopic substances

2 principles are used

Absorption -> the product changes fysically and chemically on absorbing moisture

Lithium chloride Triethylene glycol

Adsorption -> no chemical or physical change takes place after the adsorption of humidity

Sillicagel

Drying systems
1.
2.

3. 4.

Drier with absorbing liquid Drier with double adsorbing liquid in a drying tower Drier with rotating adsorbing bed Drier with rotating absorbing honeycomb bed

Drier with absorbing liquid

1.

2.

Consists out of 2 chambers and a pumping unit Dehumidification chamber (contact with absorbing liquid – litthium chloride – in the left part and filter in the right part) Regeneration chamber – regeneration of the absorbing liquid

Drier with double adsorbing in a drying tower

2 towers each filled with sillicagel 1 in use, the other being regenerated with warm, dry air. PSA – Pressure Swing Absorption

Drier with rotating adsorbing bed

 

The beds containing the sillicagel are constantly turning The drying part and regeneration part are only divided by a flexible bulkhead Drying and regeneration take place at the same time The regeneration air is dried at the inlet while the dried air is cooled (transformation of vapour in water droplets generates heat) at the outlet

Installation using sillicate rotors

Hygroscpic installation on board of a chemical tanker

Hygroscpic installation on board of a chemical tanker

Drier with rotating absorbing honeycomb bed

Roughly identical to the rotating system using the adsorbing material Lithium chloride is used instead of sillicagel

Honeycomb driers

Honeycomb technology

Industrial installation – Honeycomb technology

Drying installation on board
Thermotank  Kathabar  Cargocaire (absorption)  C.E.C. Cargocaire (adsorption – honeycomb system)

Thermotank & Katabar system

Thermotank
  

The air is cooled – humidity condenses Condense water is evacuated The dried air is warmed before being sent to the cargo holds Air is dried with absorbing liquid Installation is composed out of 3 parts
  

Kathabar

Drying installation Air distribution system Instruments

Cargocaire system

A. B. C. D. E.

F.

2 dry towers with double bed Inlet fan Outlet fan Drying towers Dry air conduct Evacuation of humidity Fresh air inlet

Ventilation

Recirculation

Instruments
Dewpointaire console – compares dry and wet bulb temperatures of outside air and the hold atmosphere  Cargo sweat and hold sweat can be avoided by analysing these values  Dew point of the hold can be influenced by ventilation, drying or cooling

Red S & T: outside temperature (sea and air)
Green: Dewpoint hold air Purple: Dewpoint outside air

Cooling of cargo holds

History

In 1876, the French engineer Charles Tellier transported a meat shipment from Buenos Aires to Rouen. aboard his own steamer « le Frigorifique ».

Evolution in cooled transport

The primary refrigerated products are bananas, meat, citrus fruit, fish and seasonal fruit. Developments over the last 15 years with regard to these various refrigerated goods can be seen from the following tables. The highest growth in absolute terms is in bananas and meat, which have a large share of the overall market anyway.

Evolution in cooled transport

Proportions of the different refrigerated transported by sea

Import of fresh fruit into EU countries

Evolution

Large volumes of refrigerated goods are still transported on refrigerated cargo ships, as is the case for bananas in particular. Modern refrigerated cargo ships are also providing ever increasing capacity for transporting refrigerated containers on deck.

Evolution
 There

is a clear trend towards increased containerisation  Today, the reefer market is largely dominated by reefers with integrated refrigeration units.

Why cooled transport?

    

Ever increasing distance between producer and consumer Necessary for consumables to arrive in optimal condition The cold slows down the ripening process of fruits and vegetables The cold avoid meat and fish to be destructed by germs Certain chemical reactions are inhibited The cold extends the conservation time of consumables

Refrigerated cargoes

  

Refrigerated cargoes require special care at all stages of the carriage Specialised high-speed vessels are employed Occasionally breakbulk vessels are equipped with limited reefer space The successful transportation of reefer cargoes depends largely on the efficiency of the vessels refrigeration machinery, the standard of insulation in cargo spaces and the careful supervision of the ships officers

Preservation of refrigerated commodities

Temperature control Level of CO2 in the stowage compartment
 

Ripening fruit produces ethylene and CO2 Ethylene and CO2 must be removed to minimise the ripening process

Excess humidity will cause moisture deposits on the cargo space structure => development of micro-organisms To dry atmosphere will lead to moisture loss => freezer burn

Freezer Burn

Freezer burn on ox-tongue

Freezer burn (deshydration) is typified by a loss of moisture that affects both texture and flavor. Freezer burn is indicated by a dry surface, which may also have white or gray spots on it.

Preservation of refrigerated commodities

 

Modern refrigeration machinery is capable of accurate temperature control Humidity is difficult to control  large quantities of air must be used to evacuate harmful gases Shipper must provide the ship with adequate information concerning carrying temperatures, pre-cooling temperatures and instructions regarding the care of cargo while in transport

Preservation of refrigerated commodities


The cargo must be delivered at the required temperature Shipboard refrigeration equipment is designed mainly to maintain temperatures and not to reduce them Exception: banana’s shipped at ambient temperature and chilled on board (chocking) Chilled ( frozen) goods may become damaged if exposed to too low temperatures The critical temperature is that at which the liquid content freezes

Refrigerated cargoes

Frozen
 

- 12°C => - 25°C Exact temperature is not so important as long as it is below the freezing temperature of the product - 2°C => + 13°C Technique is much more delicate. Each product must be transported at an exact temperature and in a controlled atmosphere.

Chilled
 

Air-cooled

Different refrigerated products

Organic non-living cargo
Meat, poultry and fish  Frozen or chilled  Perishable goods  Fast tainting if not all hygienic rules are followed from slaughtering to delivery, this means also during transport

Different regrigerated products

Living cargo
Fruits, vegetables, flowers, cheese, plants etc.  Breathing oxygen and ejecting CO2  Requiring ventilation  Chilled transport

Inert cargo
Chemical reaction has to be slowed down  Chemical and pharmaceutical products

Transport of frozen meat
Quick-freezing takes place after slaughtering, cutting up, boning, sanitary inspection, stamping and seasoning  Freezing within 24h in order no to change the aspect or the consistency of the product  Transport temperature must be < -12°C  Relative humidity – 95 à 100%  No ventilation required

Transport of frozen meat

  

Meat in quarters is wrapped in cotton cloth or packed up in carton boxes The quarters are stowed flat in the holds and no dunnage is required for ventilation. It is obvious that the holds must be very clean Attention must be given to the odour Before loading the holds are chocked till – 35°C to compensate for heating up during loading

Frozen meat in quarters

Chilled meat in a reefer Suspended on special rails

Transport of chilled meat

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    

Depending on the kind of meat the conservation time varies between a few days and 4 weeks Cattle, sheep, poultry etc. Transport temperature: -2°C -> +1°C Relative humidity: 85 ->95% Ventilation is necessary (small flow) Quarters are transported in openwork carton cases or suspended in the holds Tight stowage but sufficient ventilation must be possible Holds must be extremely clean Sanitary inspection might inspect the holds before loading

Frozen meat in boxes

Transport of fish
Chilled or frozen  Conservation time between 15 days (0.5 à 2°C) and 4 months (-18°C)  Fish is transported in carton boxes or crates

Transport of fruit and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are harvested at maximum size before maturation  Fruit and vegetables are living organisms, they absorb O2 and release CO2, heat and water vapour  2 categories are distinguished

Without amylum (zetmeel)  With amylum (zetmeel)

Chilled products

Frozen products

Cargo compatibility refrigerated products O = yes N = No R = Risk

Cargo compatibility frozen products O = yes N = No R = Risk

Transport of fruit and vegetables

Products without amylum

Respiration activity decreases after harvesting and stabilises. They are harvested at maximum maturity

Grapes, pineapple, citrus fruit etc.

Products with amylum

Respiration activity decreases after harvesting during a certain period – pre-critical phase- after this phase maturation goes on. This pre-critical phase is lengthened by means of refrigeration

Bananas

Bananas

Musa familie = bananas
Musa family is very large  2 major edible varieties

Banana (Musa Paradisiaca AAA) – fruit eaten uncooked  Plantain (Musa Paradisiaca ABB) – must be cooked before consumption

Banana

Plantain

Different edible varieties

Buro Cavendish (most common)

Different edible varieties

 

Baby Banana Plantain Red Banana

Banana Plant

 

Banana plants are the largest plants on earth without a woody stem. They are actually giant herbs of the same family as lilies, orchids and palms. Today's commercial bananas are scientifically classified into the genus Musa of the Musaceae family. The Cavendish is the most common variety of bananas now imported to the United States. The Cavendish is a shorter, stubbier plant than earlier varieties. It was developed to resist plant diseases, insects and windstorms better than its predecessors. The Cavendish fruit is of medium size, has a creamier, smooth texture, and a thinner peel than earlier varieties.

Banana Plant

Bananas are perennial (vorstbestendige overblijvende) crops that are grown and harvested year-round. The banana plant does not grow from a seed but rather from a rhizome or bulb. Each fleshy bulb will sprout new shoots year after year. Each banana plant bears only one stem of fruit. To produce a new stem, only two shoots - known as the daughter and the granddaughter - are allowed to grow and be cultivated from the main plant. The banana plant reaches its full height of 15 to 30 feet in about one year.

Banana Plant

The trunk of a banana plant is made of sheaths of overlapping leaves, tightly wrapped around each other like celery stalks. Because the banana stalk is not woody and is 93% water, even moderate winds can blow down a plant. Severe windstorms known as blowdowns can destroy acres of plants in minutes. To help prevent such damage each plant is propped with sturdy poles or overhead cables. When leaf formation is completed, in approximately two months, a flowering stalk emerges from the top and a large bud grows downward from the stalk's tip. Purplish leaves around the bud unfold and banana blossoms are revealed. Each female blossom becomes an individual banana fruit.

Banana Plant

After the stem forms on the plant, it is covered with a large, transparent plastic bag which shields it from insects, birds and leaf damage, yet allows the sun to reach the fruit. On each stem, ten or more bananas growing together are called "hands" and a single banana is called a "finger." Four to six bananas sold in the retail store are called a "cluster.“ Banana plants require intensive, individual care: clearing away of jungle growth, propping to counter bending from the weight of the growing fruit, and irrigation during the dry season.

Banana Plant

Within 8 to 10 months, stems are ready to be harvested. Stems average 150 fingers and weigh 85 to 100 pounds each. Once a stem is removed, the main plant is cut away and the daughter becomes the main plant repeated the cycle.

Banana Plant

Banana Flower

Bananas ready to be harvested approx. 100 days after flowering

Bunches after harvesting

Cutting up

Washing of the bananas

Sorting

Fungicide

Boxing

Ready to be shipped

A stem bananas

A hand of bananas

 

A stem consists out of a number of hands (from a few to > 10) A freshly cut hand of bananas. A hand consists out of 10 to 20 bananas, also called fingers

Transport of bananas

Refrigerated transport – anno 1903

Modern reefers – anno 2004

Basic principles

   

The bunch is cut approx. 100 days after flowering Respiration diminishes and stabilizes. This period is called the pre-critical period All of a sudden respiration resumes – this is the critical phase Goal of the transportation is to maintain the precritical stadium. Banana will ripe in a ripening warehouse at the port of destination

Basic principles

The degree of ripeness when the banana was cut. The pre-critical phase of « lean » fruit is better than the pre-critical phase of « full » fruit Temperature: The pre-critical phase takes 15 to 18 days at 12°C and only a few days at a temperature slightly higher Humidity: When the humidity is to high the respiration of the fruit accelerates while when the humidity is too low the fruit dries out.

Basic principles

 


CO2: high concentrations (1%) slow down the respiration but may have a noxious effect on the banana Ethylene: Promotes the ripening process and must be evacuated Packaging protect the bananas against chocks but slows down the respiration Complete bunches are wrapped in perforated polyethylene foil The cut of the banana is scheduled in function of the ETA of the ship

Basic principles

 

Immediately after the cut the bananas are stored in boxes or on pallets and are loaded ASAP. The holds are cleaned and disinfected (permanganate). N2 installations take care of the odours in the holds and eventual parasites The holds are cooled down till 6°C before loading The loading temperature of the banana is between 20°C and 30°C => the temperature in the hold will become > 12°C The banana boxes are stowed in a very compact way

Basic principles
After loading the ventilation is stopped and the temperature is lowered till 12°C very slowly (24 à 36 hours)  During voyage the tempertaure is maintained at 12°C  0.1°C  Humidity is maintained at 92%  Air in the holds is renewed 2 times per hour

Basic Principles

Loading bananas – in the old days by means of an elevator

Loading bananas – by hand

Modern loading techniques

Banana boxes are often paletised

Loading bananas

Palletised cargo

 

Pallets are loaded through horizontal or vertical openings in the hold Pallets are loaded with a pallet cage or cradle Pallets are positioned in the holds by means of forklifts

Palletised cargo

Palletised cargo

Palletised cargo

Loading holds by means of pallets

 

Loading is started at the cooling unit Loading goes on from the battery room on in forward direction Sides of the holds are loaded afterwards Loading is completed beneath the hatchopening by means of pre-slung cargo

Stowing of pallets

Ventilation must be assured Pallets are made sea fast by means of « dunnage bags » Dunnage bags are only between cargo

Loading bananas as breakbulk cargo


Loading is normally started in the sides of the cargo hold and finished beneath the hatch. Stowing height is limited till 7 to 9 boxes If the hatch way coaming is to be loaded the height is maximum 13 boxes If the hatch coaming is loaded provisions have to be taken so the boxes are never in contact with ships metal

Loading bananas as breakbulk cargo

Contact is avoided by means of wooden blocks or by loading the boxes diagonally

Ventilation is primordial

Height in the neighboorhood of the battery room is limited (stepping down) Above the boxes we need at least 8 cm to assure a good circulation

Ventaltion through openwork boxes

Partly filled holds

Cooling of the holds


 

At the end of the 19th century deepfreeze ships were developed Temperature had to be low but not very exact This kind of ships is not suitable for fresh products (fruit, vegetables) Next generation of ships controls the hold atmosphere in every aspect Today – Poly-thermal ships –25°C -> +13°C

Mechanical Cooling System
A.
B. C.

Evaporator Compressor Expansion valve
De compressor compresses the cooling medium => Temperature rises (orange) In de condensor the cooling medium gives off heat and liquefies (dark blue) After the expansian valve the pressure drops => temperature drops. In the evaporator the heat is absorbed (cooling)

Cooling agents

Traditional cooling agents – coming back
CO2 (greenhouse effect)  Ammonia (explosive and toxic)

CFK’s (freon) - disappearing
R-12  R-22 – on the list of forbidden products since convention of Montreal (1987 as ammended in 90, 92, 97 and 99)

Cooling systems
With bottom gratings  Without gratings

Cooling system with bottom gratings
a.
b. c.

d.
e. f. g.

Evaporator Ventilator Nil Robson channels Cargo space Nil Bottom gratings

Robson system seen from above
a.
b. c. d. e. f. g. h.

Evaporator Ventilator Entrance battery room Robson channels Cargo space Collectors condense water Bottom gratings Entrance fresh ventilation air

Systems without gratings

Only for cargo on pallets Space beneath the pallets is used to blow in the cold air The pallets must be made air tight on the sides to assure the vertical passage of the cold air

Controlling the atmosphere
Temperature - refrigeration  Lowering O2 – « MA » = Modified Atmosphere  Controlling and measuring of O2, CO2, ethylene and humidity – « CA » = Controlled atmosphere

Example of « CA » - ideal transport conditions for bananas
Temp: 12 – 16°C  CO2: 2 à 5% (damage occurs > 7%)  O2: 2 à 5% (damage occurs < 1%)  Relative humidity: 85 – 95%

Overview of « CA » techniques

Maintaining N2 concentration
Injection of pure N2  Admission of IG  Use of N2 separators

Increasing CO2 concentration
Injection CO2  Natural breathing of the fruit

Overview of « CA » techniques

Lowering CO2 concentration
    

Ventilation Absorption Chemical process Adsorption Separation by means of a membrane separator

Increasing relative humidity

  

Injection mist droplets Natural breathing of the fruit Steam injection Evaporation of water

Overview of « CA » techniques

Controlling ethylene concentration
 


Potassium permanganate Active carbon Ozone Ultra Violet

An increased CO2 concentration will undo the ripening effect of ethylene. Most of the ships with « CA » do not have any means on board to control the ethylene concentration

Ripening room

In the port of destination the bananas are stored in ripening rooms from 6 to 8 days at a temperature of 14.5°C

Cool containers

Refrigerated containers

2 systems
Porthole refrigerated containers  Integral refrigerated containers

Porthole refrigerated containers

Porthole technology was developed before the seventies and used on the North-South routes which carried large volumes of refrigerated cargo. The first generation of container ships with porthole refrigerated containers is now over 25 years old and will soon be replaced by ships with a greater capacity for integral refrigerated containers.

Porthole refrigerated containers

Porthole refrigerated containers, also called insulated or CONAIR containers, do not have their own refrigeration unit. They are thus reliant on an external supply of cold air. This is achieved by refrigeration units of various types, permanently installed on the ship or clip-on units for individual containers.

Porthole refrigerated containers

Porthole containers are thermally insulated and have two sealable openings on the end walls (the portholes) through which cold air can be blown into the container and warm air can be extracted. The cold air is forced through the lower opening into the container, then distributed throughout the load via the T-bar floor, and subsequently flows through the load to the top of the container and is extracted through the upper opening.

Porthole refrigerated containers

Porthole refrigerated containers

Porthole refrigerated containers

Collective systems

1 refrigeration unit takes care of a group of containers

1 large unit is installed in the double hull of the container vessel an refrigerates a larger block of containers 1 cooling unit per vertical column of containers

Individual systems

Clip-on unit refrigerates 1 individual container

Porthole refrigerated containers

Cooler integrated in the double hull

Central cooling unit

Vertical distribution of cooled air

Couplings - Conair

Porthole refrigerated containers

Porthole installation ashore

Porthole installation ashore

Individual systems

Clip on units – porthole containers

Mechanical refrigeration
  

Diesel aggregate Gasoline or LPG aggregate External electrical supply Temperature is maintained by injecting liquefied N2 or CO2 The gas is stored in an isolated reservoir fixed at the outside of the container Temperature is monitored by a sensor

Units using liquefied N2 or CO2 – obsolete
 

Porthole refrigerated containers Container with clip on unit

Porthole refrigerated containers

Although the discussion regarding the future of the porthole system persisted through to the middle of the 1990s, the decision has since been taken not to build any more ships of this type. The individual services will be completely converted to integral containers by 2006/2008.

Porthole versus integral refrigerated containers

Integral refrigerated containers
In contrast to porthole containers, integral refrigerated containers are equipped with their own refrigeration unit.  Cold air flows through and around the goods in the container. This air is blown in through the gratings in the floor and then drawn off again below the container ceiling.

Integral refrigerated containers

Integral refrigerated containers

In the case of pre-cooled frozen goods, air only has to flow around the goods, since no heat has to be dissipated from the goods themselves. Only the heat which penetrates the insulation from outside has to be dissipated. When transporting fruit, however, air flows through the goods, as fruit and vegetables generate respiration heat internally which has to be dissipated.

Integral refrigerated containers
Air exchange rates today are approximately 30-40 changes/hour when transporting frozen goods and approximately 60-80 changes/hour when transporting fruit.  The goods must be stowed in the container in such a way that the air flow is not interrupted or by-passed

Integral refrigerated containers

The container should only be pre-cooled before loading if the container is loaded in a cold store, so that the temperature outside the opened doors is approximately the same as the temperature inside the container. Otherwise, when the doors of a pre-cooled container are opened, water will condense on the walls which may cause subsequent damage to the cargo

Componenets of an integral refrigerated container

Front end of an integral refrigerated container

Componenets of an integral refrigerated container

Rear en of an integral refrigerated container Circulating fans (2) and air cooler (17) are clearly visible

Cooling circuit with additional water cooled condensor

Connections for the additional water cooled condensor

Cooling the condensers with water is a solution to get rid of the heat when the reefers are stored beneath deck

Fresh air
When transporting vegetables or fruits the CO2 and ethylene generated during the ripening process must be removed  This is achieved by ventilation  The amount os fresh air is < 2 times the volume of the container per hour  Exception when using CA (Controlled Atmosphere)

Fresh air

Fresh air flap Discs to fine tune the quantity of fresh air administered Atmosphere sampling point

Coolants

Originally, all refrigerated containers were operated using the coolants R11 and R12. After the destruction of the ozone layer became an issue and consequently these coolants were banned by the Montreal Protocol, a number of manufacturers switched briefly to R22 as a substitute coolant. However, as this is also being phased out, the two coolants R134a and R404a are now generally used instead.

Data loggers - local

Temperatures are still recorded today for use as evidence in the event of a damage claim, mainly with circular temperature charts, which generally cover a period of 31 days The return air temperature is generally recorded on these charts.

Data loggers - local

Due to the progress made in data technology, many modern controllers are able to store their measured values on data loggers. The storage period is generally one year. The main benefit of this type of data logger is that it records not only the return air temperature but also the supply air temperature and USDA temperatures. In addition, they can register alarms, on and off times and manual intervention. One disadvantage of the data loggers is that they only supply discrete values and do not provide the crew with a quick overview of the history of a particular refrigerated cargo transport. In addition, it is often difficult in the event of a damage claim to localize the container and have the contents of the data logger read out.

Data loggers - local

Nowadays, several data loggers are often also placed within the load when transporting refrigerated goods. These are used to monitor the temperatures inside the container during transport and allow this data to be made available to the recipient of the goods.

Remote controlling

With an increasing number of integral refrigerated containers being used in maritime transport, there is also a greater need for effective ways of monitoring these containers. On ships, many of which can nowadays transport over 1,000 integral refrigerated containers, using a remote monitoring system can cut the costs of inspecting the containers while also enabling the crew to react more rapidly to potential problems in the event of a refrigeration unit failing.

Remote monitoring

Nowadays 2 techniques are used for remote monitoring. Both are using electrical cables and standard sockets. – PCT = Power Cable Transmission
  

Narrowband transmissions Wideband transmissions ISO 10368 standard for data exchange – no agreement was reached for the frequencies (narrow or wide band). Compressor running Defrost Temperature in range

Following values are monitored
  

Remote monitoring

Around 80-90 % of all refrigerated containers have a socket to connect them to this type of monitoring system.

Example of datalogger extract

Data loggers

These loggers can provide evidence of periods of insufficient refrigeration leading to damage. For certain highly sensitive products (for example, blood plasma) the use of such loggers is required as proof that the cold chain has not been broken at any time.

Remote monitoring

It is expected that it will be possible to transmit data by radio frequency in the future, e.g. using "wireless LAN" technology.

CA-containers

The use of CA extends the storage life of fruit and vegetables not only through cooling, but also by changing the air composition in the space (container) in which the goods are located. This generally involves reducing

the oxygen content to 1 - 3 % (normal air: 21%) and increasing the carbon dioxide content to 5 - 25 % (normal air: 0.03%). The
composition of the atmosphere that produces the longest possible storage life primarily depends on the type of fruit, the variety, its origin and the time of harvest.

CA-containers

The correct atmosphere will slow respiration in the fruit , thus ensuring longer storage life. Fruit respiration can be reduced by around 30 - 60 % in comparison with normal atmospheric conditions with CA. This, of course, means that transport times can be extended, so that fruit, for instance, that is normally transported by air can also be transported by sea in refrigerated containers. Another possibility is to harvest the fruit later and hence achieve better quality fruit.

CA-containers
Reduction of O2 is achieved by inerting the container with N2  CO2 can be increased by injecting CO2

Production of N2
Membrane generators  PSA = Pressure Swing Absorption

Membrane generators

The membrane consists of a polymer that is permeable to different degrees for different gases. In principle, almost all gases can pass through the membrane, but at different permeation rates. For the gases involved in CA applications, the following applies: Water vapor permeates fastest, followed by CO2, O2 and finally N2.

PSA - generators

Oxygen is bound by the active carbon under high pressure and released again under low pressure The carbon filters must be regenerated after every few minutes of operation

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