Industrial Pressure Transmitter Use in Dredging Ballast Tanks

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Dredging is the removal of underwater sediment and soil for the purpose of underwater excavation. Other dredging operations include the following:

  • Bayou and beach reclamation
  • Capital construction projects
  • Flood prevention
  • Seabed mining
  • Waterway maintenance

Dredging helps keep shipping traffic clear and active, helps to replenish sand in eroding beaches, and is an effective environmental management tool. Dubai’s Palm Island, an artificial, massive resort environment created entirely from dredged soils, exemplifies the use and effectiveness of dredging operations. Figure 1 illustrates a rendering of Palm Island, the largest artificial island in the world and home for up to 500,000 people.

Dredging is performed in both saltwater and freshwater environments for collection, transport, and disposal of underwater sediment and soil. A dredge is the mechanism responsible for pulling sediment and soil from a sea bed. A dredger is a ship or boat outfitted with a dredge. Figure 2 illustrates a dredger unloading stored sediment in a dredging operation.

Dredgers store the sediments and soils being transported onboard in holding containers. The weight of stored sediments often leads to an imbalance in the ship’s buoyancy, which must be corrected, usually through the use of ballast tanks. Ballast tanks are holding containers that can be filled and emptied of water to control the ship’s buoyancy or center of gravity, balance, draft, and propeller immersion. Ballast tanks are located at the bottom of a ship’s hull at the fore, aft, and sides of the ship in order to maintain a low center of gravity and balance. Industrial pressure transmitters are used to monitor and control the volume, and thus the weight, of the water present in a given ballast tank. Continuous monitoring of ballast tank water levels through the use of industrial pressure transmitters allows ship operators to have the highest levels of control over their ship and its safety.


Industrial Pressure Transmitters in Dredging Applications

The following industrial pressure transmitters are recommended for mission critical tasks like ballast tank monitoring and control in dredging applications:

  • General Purpose Pressure Transmitter Type S-10
  • Industrial Pressure Transmitter with Non-Clogging Flat Diaphragm Type S-11
  • Submersible Liquid Level Pressure Transmitter Type LS-10

WIKA manufactures one of the world’s most durable industrial pressure transmitters. The WIKA S-10 series industrial pressure transmitter is extremely shock and vibration resistant. It is available with a range of environmental protection ratings from IP 65 to a cable version with IP 68 for submersion. WIKA ensures quality in all of its products. Each S-10 goes through quality testing and calibration to achieve an accuracy of 0.25 % of full scale.

Key features of the S-10 industrial pressure transmitter:

  • Available for pressure ranges from 50 inches water column up to 15,000 psi
  • 4-20 mA 2-wire output signals, others available
  • IP ratings available to meet specific application requirements
  • High vibration and shock resistant

Recommended Use of Industrial Pressure Transmitters

WIKA recommends the S-10 pressure industrial transmitter for use in the following dredging and ballast tank applications:

  • Ballast tank liquid level measurement
  • Ballast tank pump control
  • Buoyant force/draft and propeller immersion control
  • Vessel load moment indication


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