Ferguson Middle East, global specialists in the provision of offshore DNV 2.7-1 containers, tanks, reefers, engineering workspace and accommodation modules, has introduced a new dual HVAC system to their engineering workspace modules.
The new system has been design engineered to protect offshore workers from the punishing temperatures in the Arabian Gulf. Temperatures can reach upper 40°C or higher during the summer months and high-temperatures make for an uncomfortable work environment. Offshore crews need an air-conditioning system that offers a more comfortable and cooler workspace.
In addition to improvements to temperature management, the introduction of a two-speed fan improved HVAC unit efficiency by 30%, during normal operation, and reduced purge time. When an A60 module becomes de-pressurised, it has to be purged prior to anyone re-entering the module. Purging a module can sometimes take up to an hour, during which time the pressurised module cannot be used. The new HVAC unit has meant a 25% reduction to the purge time.
Ferguson Group engineering director Dr Julian Poyner said: "All offshore modules are pressurised and this means that they have cool air pumped through them at a constant rate whenever they are powered up. When you are dealing with a very warm ambient temperature, the HVAC has to work a lot harder. Offshore, this can mean that the HVAC unit is under stress for days at a time, with the obvious risk to reliability.
"We are delighted that we have been able to design a solution to meet the needs of our Gulf clients and can offer a solution that successfully addresses the challenge of working in modules in such high-temperatures."
Each HVAC unit is more powerful than standard units and is operational at up to 50°C. The new HVAC unit has been designed to operate over a greater range of temperatures from -20°C to 50°C. Testing over this temperature range was carried out at the Motor Industry Research Institute (MIRA) in Nuneaton, with tests running constantly over a five-day period.
Poyner added: "The unit was put under constant stress during the testing and we were delighted with the results. The unit surpassed what we thought it would be able to achieve, the testing chamber suggested that we test it against the standards laid down in MOD Stan 0035 – 4.
"We tested the HVAC unit in temperatures of up to 50°C and it was able to support a comfortable ambient temperature for extended periods of time. The results demonstrated that the HVAC unit could work at maximum efficiency for longer duration than previously."
Dr Poyner commented: "We feel that our enhanced HVAC unit can make the workspace modules more comfortable and support more efficient working from the personnel inside them. Our improved purge time will cut down on wasted time when the module cannot be operational and help support our customers."
For more information, please contact The Ferguson Group.