The Hyde GUARDIAN-US (Universal Service) has now been awarded type approval by the US Coast Guard. (Image: Hyde Marine)The Hyde GUARDIAN-US (Universal Service) has now been awarded type approval by the US Coast Guard. (Image: Hyde Marine)

The US Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) could see IMO and US efficacy determinations align by explicitly expanding the definition of “living” to exclude organisms that are alive but cannot reproduce.

That has yet to be confirmed, and in the meantime, UV equipment manufacturers continue to press ahead with meeting regulatory requirements.

Mark Riggio, Senior Market Manager for Hyde Marine, states the issue that all UV equipment manufacturers face in meeting the US requirements: “The inflexibility of the Coast Guard to accept the best available science has made systems perform with a tighter performance envelope without actually improving the treatment efficacy of the systems. The manipulations we made to our system to pass the US Coast Guard stain test (increased power, slower flow) do not improve the overall treatment performance of our system.”

The Hyde GUARDIAN-US (Universal Service) has now been awarded type approval by the US Coast Guard. It operates with a pioneering dose-based performance algorithm, says Riggio. This ensures that most water is delivered through the system that is possible for the given conditions.

The company has announced other innovations too including the GUARDIAN control system which features a treatment alarm that alerts crews when the system is operating outside performance boundaries. “While this does not necessarily mean the water is non-compliant, it allows the crew to decide whether to implement contingency measures if they are not sure whether their water is properly treated,” says Riggio. “And if there are any problems with the system, each GUARDIAN-US is fitted with remote access so we can troubleshoot and, in some cases, even repair the system before the vessel even enters port.”

Some other UV equipment manufacturers are offering two different operating modes, one with slower flow rates and maximum power settings to meet US requirements. Equipment manufacturer DESMI has chosen not to reduce flow rates and points to the pitfalls in a recently released white paper: “Naturally, the selection of either IMO or US mode becomes quite complicated if the operator does not know where the ballast water he is taking on board is going to be discharged.”

The white paper argues that the impact of maintaining flow rates on power costs is insignificant: While power consumption makes up a proportion of a ship’s OPEX over time, systems are only operated a few percent of the time in a year. So when comparing systems, the difference in annual OPEX is actually insignificant. The paper concludes: “UV-treatment ballast water management systems are considered CAPEX competitive for flow rates up to 1,000 – 1,500 m3/h. While EC-based systems are considered competitive when it comes to CAPEX for flow rates above 1,000 –1,500 m3/h, their installation and complexity should be considered.”

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