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ODMCS: Principle of operation The measurement technique used in the Oil Discharge Monitoring & Control System is based

on scattered light. The sample of discharge water passes through a detector cell while light enters and leaves the measurement area of the cell. The sample flow is at right angles to the optical path. When no particles or oil droplets are present in the water, light can pass straight through the cell (Direct beam). When oil is present in the form of a homogeneous mixture, light is scattered at different angles (Scatter beam). The intensity of scattered light at a specific angle depends on the density of oil droplets and upon their particle size relative to the wavelength of radiation. The intensity of light of the direct beam decreases logarithmically with increasing oil concentration, while the scatter beam increases linearly but passes through a maximum before decreasing logarithmically, The maximum occurs because of the increase in attenuation blocking out the scattered light at high concentrations. The variation of light refraction by oil droplets only is quite different to that refracted when solid contaminants are also present and this fact can be used to obtain an accurate indication of oil content whilst disregarding solid particles up to a point. The light source used in the Oil Discharge Monitoring & Control System is a near infra red diode which is operated in the pulsed mode so that the average power dissipation is very low, although the intensity is high. The light signal is processed and transmitted along a communication cable from the detector cell to the EPU where the three detection signals are used to compute the oil concentration levels present in the sample passing through the detector cell. The response in the optical detection is instantaneous and most of the delays when reading oil levels lie in the sampling pipework. High velocity, short sampling length and minimum pipework bends give fast response times. During periods of inactivity the pipework may become fouled and when the system is started up, erroneous readings could occur as oil is stripped from the pipework. Automatic sequential control of forward and backward flushing at start up and shut down of the monitor prevents erroneous readings and keeps the sampling lines clean. This also ensures reliable start up, minimises system deterioration and ensures that the pipework is left in clean condition prior to the next use of the monitor. At the end of the start up flushing cycle a system zero check is performed, this automatic zero setting compensates for any small deposits on the cell windows. The window wash pump cleans the cell windows at regular intervals. All operating controls and system alarms are situated on the MCU. Manual system flush and window wash controls are available to make these two operations possible at any time. With the exception of selecting the sample point and the oil type, the system works automatically once sampling has been initiated. The oil level together with the discharge flow rate and ships speed are input to the MCU to give a permanent record of oil discharged overboard. Both calibration alarms and operational alarms are provided and the alarm philosophy employed follows normal marine practice. When a fault occurs, both audible and visual alarms are activated. The audible alarm can be silenced by fault acceptance but the visual alarm cannot be extinguished. It is only after the fault has been rectified that the visual alarm is extinguished. Should a second alarm occur during this sequence, both audible and the visual alarms would be reactivated.

PURPOSE OF ODMCS: Oil tankers carry different types of oil cargo in their cargo tanks and it often happens that after discharging the oil cargo in some port, the ship sails without any cargo to some other destination. In order to do so, it has to take ballast from the sea to get better draught and stability. For this reason, ballast water is taken into cargo tanks wherein generally oil cargo would have been carried. It is to note that the ballast water carried in cargo tanks has to be discharged out at sea before the next cargo loading. Therefore, Oil Discharge monitoring and

control system (ODMCS) is used to prevent the pollution of ocean by oil due to the discharge from ballast and bilge spaces. As per MARPOL 73/78 Annex I, all the oil tankers of 150 GT and above must have an approved Oil Discharge Monitoring System. The system must have provision to work in manual operating mode if the auto system is not working.

Main Parts of ODMCS An ODMCS consists essentially of four systems: 1. An Oil content meter: The oil content meter is used to analyze the content of oil in the water that is to be discharged overboard. This oil is expressed in parts per million (PPM). 2. A flow meter: The flow rate of the oily water to be discharged is measured at the discharge pipe. 3. A computing unit: A computing unit calculates the oil discharge in litres/nautical miles and the total quantity, along with date and time identification. 4. An overboard valve control system: The auto control valve is installed at the overboard so that it must close and stop the discharge when permissible limit has been reached. Working The oily mixture is pumped out to the sea through ODMCS by a pump. A sampler probe and a flow meter sensor is connected at the discharge pipe, before the overboard valve, to sense the oil content and the flow of mixture.

The data provided by the two sensors are fed in a control unit wherein it is analysed and the discharge valve is controlled by the same.

If the control unit senses a rise in the ppm and flow comparing to the permissible value, it will shut the overboard valve and open the recirculation valve which is connected to slop tank of the ship. Regulatory requirements for oil mixture discharge from cargo space

Tanker vessel must be enroute The vessel should not be in special areas. The tanker must be 50 nautical miles away from land. The instantaneous rate of discharge of oil content does not exceed 30 litres per nautical mile. The total quantity of discharge must not exceed 1/30000 of the total quantity of the residue formed cargo. The tanker must have operational and approved ODMCS.

As per the regulation, the following inputs must be recorded by the system: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Discharge rate of the pump which is discharging the oily water mixture overboard. The location of the ship in latitude and longitude. Date and time of the discharge. The total quantity that has been discharge overboard. Oil content of the discharged mixture in PPM.

All the records of ODMCS must be stored on board ships for not less than 3 years.

OILY WATER SEPARATOR: PURPOSE:To minimize the oily content in bilge water, which can be discharged from the ship, MARPOL has a regulation under ANNEX I which limits the oil content in the bilge water that vessel can legitimately discharge into the sea. It is now a requirement for all vessels to have an oil discharge monitoring and control system along with an oil filtering equipment known as the Oily Water Separator (OWS). As the name indicates, the function of oily water separator is to separate maximum amount of oil particles from the water to be discharged overboard from engine room or cargo hold bilges, oil tanks and oil contaminated spaces. As per the regulation, the oil content in the water processed from the OWS must be less then 15 parts per million of oil.

OWS consists of mainly three segments: Separator unit


This unit consists of catch plates which are inside a coarse separating compartment and an oil collecting chamber. Here the oil having a density which is lower than that of the water, which makes the former rise into the oil collecting compartment and the rest of the non-flowing oil mixture settle down into fine settling compartment after passing between the catch plates. After a period of time more oil will separate and collect in the oil collecting chamber. The oil content of water which passes through this unit is around 100 parts per million of oil. A control valve (pneumatic or electronic) releases the separated oil in to the designated OWS sludge tank. Heater may be incorporated in this unit for smooth flow and separation of oil and water. First stage helps in removing some physical impurities to achieve fine filtration in the later stage.

The Filter unit


This is a separate unit whose input comes from the discharge of the first unit. This unit consists of three stages filter stage, coalescer stage and collecting chamber. The impurities and particles are separated by the filter and are settled at the bottom for removal. In second stage, coalescer induces coalescence process in which oil droplets are joined to increase the size by breaking down the surface tension between oil droplets in the mixture. These large oil molecules rise above the mixture in the collecting chamber and are removed when required. The output from this unit should be less than 15 ppm to fulfil legal discharge criteria. If the oil content in water is more than 15 ppm then maintenance work such as filter cleaning or renewal of filters is to be done as required.

Oil Content Monitor and Control Unit


This unit functions together in two parts monitoring and controlling. The ppm of oil is continuously monitored by Oil Content Monitor (OCM); if the ppm is high it will give alarm and feed data to the control unit. The control unit continuously monitors the output signal of OCM and if alarm arises, it will not allow the oily water to go overboard by means of operating 3 way solenoid valve. There are normally 3 solenoid valves commanded by control unit. These are located in the first unit oil collecting chamber, second unit oil collecting chamber and one in discharge side of the oily water separator which is a 3 way valve.

The 3 way valve inlet is from the OWS discharge, where one outlet is to overboard and second outlet is to OWS sludge tank. When OCM gives alarm, 3 way valve discharges oily mixture in the sludge tank.