Ship Water Ballast Level Measurement

Today, over 225 nations are active in trade resulting in over $9 trillion dollars in global business every year. About 90 percent of the world's goods are transported by ship. Bulk carriers, cargo ships and oil tankers are designed to transport enormous weight across vast bodies of water. When fully loaded, these vessels have no problem cutting through buffeting oceans and rocky seas. However, when all of its cargo has been off-loaded, new challenges are presented to keep the ships propeller immersed and hull steady.

Adding ballast to a vessel lowers its center of gravity, and increases the draft of the vessel. A ballast tank can be filled or emptied in order to adjust the amount of ballast force. Ships designed for carrying large amounts of cargo must take on ballast water for proper stability when travelling with light loads and discharge water when heavily laden with cargo.

On this geared bulk carrier an EchoSpan LU81 is measuring the level of ballast water in the upper ballast tank. As water is filled from outside the vessel the EchoSpan LU81, connected to a PLC, ensures that the ballasts are filled to optimum operating weight and evenly distributed to reduce stress on the hull structure.

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