Wärtsilä fresh water generator shown to save fuel

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 20 June 2019


Wärtsilä has successfully installed the first of its new Serck Como Horizontal Tube Evaporator (HiTE) fresh water production systems onboard the pipe-laying vessel, Lorelay, owned by offshore contractor Allseas.. The retrofit project produces clean water for technical applications and human consumption and has led to fuel savings of as much as one tonne per day.

The unique aspect of the Wärtsilä HiTE is that it is a multi-stage evaporator specifically designed for small to medium capacities of 30 to 150 tonnes per day. Previously, significant design compromises were needed in order to handle such capacities.

The Wärtsilä HiTE fresh water production system efficiently handles small to medium capacity requirements

The Wärtsilä HiTE is designed to function in a wide range of operational areas such as shallow waters with poor quality seawater, where alternative technologies, such as reverse osmosis or plate technology, reach their limits. The operation of the Wärtsilä HiTE achieves energy savings of 75% compared to single stage designs with a specific heat consumption of 200 – 280kWh per tonne, depending on design.

The unit’s control system is fully automatic. Furthermore, the HiTE has the flexibility to operate while the engines are at low load during dynamic positioning (DP) operations. For example, at DP the Lorelay operates at engine loads of between 15 and 35%. The system’s automated smart processes adjust according to the amount of energy provided, which is an important factor for vessels with varying engine profiles.

“This evaporator produces pure distillate, even in difficult seawater conditions, plus it does so reliably and with low operating costs. The possibility to operate the unit at part load gives it great flexibility to utilise available waste heat. Our engineering team has confirmed that the Wärtsilä HiTE is exceeding our expectations, and that it is completely in line with the technical specifications and the requested maximum allowed energy consumption. The system produces good quality water, and we are extremely happy with the outcome,” explained Taco Straathof, Technical Inspector, Allseas.

The Wärtsilä HiTE is suited for a variety of vessel types, including special vessels, chemical tankers, small cruise ships, and for offshore applications.

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