In this series of three blog posts, we at Weka Marine want to give you more explanation about the types of Boxcoolers that are available. We will do this by going in-depth into the choice of materials. In general, two types of materials are used to produce Boxcoolers, which are aluminium-brass & copper-nickel. These variants will be explained in more detail in the first two blog posts and a comparison will be made in the third.
Part 1 of 3: The Copper-Nickel Boxcooler.
The WEKA Boxcooler® is a custom engineered cooling solution designed to meet the specific demands of the engine manufacturer and operating conditions of a vessel. This design is ideally suited for vessels operating in icy, sandy, or debris-laden water.
The copper-nickel Weka Boxcooler is crafted using 90/10 copper-nickel tubing. This alloy was selected based on its durability, heat exchange abilities, resistance to saltwater corrosion, and natural antifouling capabilities. Weka is the only manufacturer to produce copper-nickel Boxcoolers on a large scale. Due to our long and extensive experience in making these copper-nickel Boxcoolers, we have developed them into a sustainable cooling solution.
The high copper content of the tubing provides natural anti-fouling capabilities, offering protection against marine growth. Copper alloys possess an inherent natural resistance to biofouling. For clarification, the biofouling resistance of copper alloys is due to the copper in the protective oxide film; it is not from the leaching of copper ions.
This means that no ICAF system is needed to protect your Boxcoolers from fouling. ICAF systems will be prohibited in a few years due to environmental damage in the seawater. So, the Copper-nickel alloy will be future proof for new regulations.
Some attention points when using copper-nickel box coolers are the environment, the insulation and the proper installation of the Boxcooler. If the environment is contaminated, chemical processes can be established with our coolers. Flushing the sea chest or cleaning the water is a necessity. Not properly insulating our coolers can lead to stray currents. This can cause damage leading to leaks.
Not only the Boxcooler itself but also the sea chest in which it is installed is important to maintain properly. Pay close attention to the correct application of the coating to prevent stray currents. To help the customer with this, the manual describes in detail how to install the coolers in an insulated way. Weka will assist all clients with advisory and commissioning services to install our CuNi 90/10 Boxcoolers, to prevent wrongfully installed coolers.
If the water were the copper-nickel Boxcooler will be used is polluted, then the Boxcoolers will be coated with a protective coating. The natural antifouling capabilities will not work anymore. To prevent the coolers from fouling we use ultrasonic antifouling systems instead of ICAF. This is environmental friendly and there is no need the change and maintain the system in a few years of usage.
The main advantage of the copper-nickel Boxcoolers is the low operational costs due to the fact that they are almost maintenance-free, long-lasting and no ICAF bar needs to be changed over time. The copper-nickel Boxcoolers are the most environmental friendly cooling solution for a vessel these days.