Cooling stations article published in Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International Magazine in April 2018.

 

Water cooling is essential for Power Electronics and Battery & Energy Storage Systems in electric & hybrid marine applications

 

Technical Manager Mr. Teemu Alajoki says that Adwatec’s design philosophy is to build robust, reliable and compact turnkey systems to withstand tough marine conditions in higs sees

Water cooling systems provide many benefits in marine applications, as Teemu Alajoki, R&D Manager at Adwatec Ltd, explains “With liquid cooling the waste thermal energy can be re-used for heating or transferred to seawater, or to raw water system with a heat exchanger”.

Adwatec’s cooling system design is based on temperature balance, where the role of liquid cooling is critical. Heat losses in the system must be transported effectively away from the electrical components. Power density of electronics is continually increasing together with the heat output. Water is an ideal cooling method for vessels due to its excellent cooling capacity and its low volyme.


Complete solutions

 

Adwatec has worked with liquid cooling systems over 15 years. “Plug and play” -cooling stations are easy to assemble and use. Commissioning takes only 30 minutes thanks to automatic de-aerating.

Use of valve block technology minimizes the number of fittings in the system. The aluminum and stainless-steel surfaces used in the coolant provide a longer life. Copper-based materials and carbon steels are not used as to avoid galvanic corrosion and slush build-up in the coolant and heat sinks.

Adwatec Water Cooling Stations have a cooling capacity of 10-250kW

“Cooling control is always slave to the power electronics master controls, thus the communication to upper level systems is crucial. Adwatec has made sure the master system is up-to-date with hard wired contacts, Profinet or Profibus protocols based on customer needs”, explains Alajoki.

In ships, space is always limited and the smaller the system footprint needed for engineering, the better. The unit is compact, with cabinet footprints starting from 400 x 600 mm 16 x 24in). Installation and commissioning is also made fast and easy thanks to the Adwatec design. Typically if a cooling station is made to fit into a small space, it results in difficulties in servicing as many of the components are in places impossible to reach without having to disassemble the equipment. This problem has been solved thanks to Adwatec’s modular construction design. All components are easy to see and reach and thus the visual inspection and service time is as short and as pain-free as possible.

“A fundamental requirement for cooling is that the coolant will stay in the system. To minimize the possibility of leakage, use of proper sealing solutions is key to reliable operation. For worst-case scenarios, we have developed a unique leak detection system”, says Alajoki.

The cooling system must be sealed tightly and the correct materials used with the proper coolant in a closed-loop cooling system to ensure a maintenance-free solution. Most propulsion systems within a vessel must be designed and manufactured according to classification rules; Adwatec’s cooling stations have been certifies by all major classification organizations. The stations are already in use in many marine and offshore applications.

 

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