Soot is a Real Issue for Many Super Yachts

Soot is a real hot button issue for many super yacht captains and engineers. It is something that is very noticeable by the owner and guests and can have a significant detrimental impact on quality of life onboard. 

“Although not yet directly regulated, boats with bad soot problems risk local port action if there’s a visible residue on the water, as well as gaining a reputation for being dirty neighbours” says Richard Franklin, Managing Director of ECOsuperyacht.

ECOsuperyacht’s additions for 2013 include a retrofit exhaust gas re-heater system for passive diesel particulate filter systems, a 4 day turnaround cleaning service for diesel particulate filter elements, and a new dry ice cleaning service for large yachts with dry stack exhaust systems.

Any approach to soot reduction needs to be holistic, as there’s no single cure for the problem. As well as good servicing, reducing the total volume of soot being generated due to incomplete combustion by using a fuel borne catalyst such as Cerion Energy’s  GO2 is a good starting point.

Thereafter having a correctly specified diesel particulate filter makes a world of difference. So too does ensuring that the passive diesel particulate filter systems (DPF) is allowed to work properly. We see a lot of boats fitted with passive systems having problems caused by low exhaust temperatures that don’t allow the DPF to regenerate properly. Our proprietary retrofit exhaust re-heater system ensures that the correct temperatures for regeneration are sustained at the catalyst, allowing optimum performance.”
Inevitably there will be some soot build up on DPF filters over time, so to maintain optimum performance regular filter cleaning is required, sometimes as often as every 1,000 hours.

Keeping filters clean maximises DPF performance and minimises back pressure problems, so it is an important part of the maintenance programme. Our cleaning service is available throughout the Mediterranean for all major brands and is designed to offer a quick turnaround, recognising that this work sometimes needs to be done mid season, especially for boats with a busy programme where running hours can accumulate quickly. 

“Our 4 day collection, clean and delivery service using a state of the art cleaning facility aims to deliver filters cleaned to at least 95%, with a full condition report on each filter. For boats where even 4 days is too much, we can offer a 1 for 1 exchange, clean and storage service,” says Richard Franklin. 
Dry stack exhaust systems that are found on the largest yachts require regular cleaning to keep the free from accumulated soot, which would otherwise present a fire hazard, as well as tending to deposit soot on the upper deck during start up. Conventional cleaning methods using brushes tends to be slow, dirty and time consuming.

Dry ice blasting, which is in widespread use for industrial cleaning, is a highly effective cleaning process. However it is not well suited for use in long, narrow spaces where manned access is not possible, such as in dry stack systems.

 Working with a Canadian dry ice blasting equipment manufacturer, ECOsuperyacht has developed a series of tools that enable it to use dry ice blasting to clean dry stack systems quickly, cleanly and effectively, with residue being captured and removed throughout the cleaning process.

“Interest in our dry ice cleaning system from engineers on larger yachts has been exceptional, indicating that engineers are keen to find an effective alternative cleaning method that is cleaner and quicker than conventional cleaning”, says Richard.