Green antifouling technology - getting better every year
by Steve Hopper/Sail-World Cruising on 10 Feb 2013
Green antifouling technology is the chemical-free alternative to traditional messy antifouling paint - it's more effective at clearing algae and barnacles but harmless to other marine life. Ultrasonic Works have just launched a new ground-breaking ClearHull antifouling system, and now tell of their spectacular results of winter-long laboratory tests.
With effective ultrasonic antifouling you may never have to do this again .. .
The testing follows previous seasonal testing on trial yachts which proved the technology’s ability to maintain a clean hull.
The highly experienced electronics engineers and biologists at Ultrasonic Works performance tested the ClearHull ultrasonic antifouling system by pumping water from the Solent into control tanks, into which a simulated hull surface fitted with an Ultrasonics Works transducer and separate test slides were suspended. One of the tanks was set up without any protection and the other tanks were set up with various levels of ClearHull ultrasonic antifouling attached to the simulated hull surface.
Each of the protected test tanks had been set with different frequencies of ultrasonic sound protection to enable the engineers to test for different patterns and durations to find the most effective frequency to discourage algae growth. The testing simulated a moored vessel in the Solent and after two months of extensive testing the results were described as 'outstanding' with no fouling on the simulated hull or the suspended plates.
Unlike other ultrasonic testing, the test slides were not attached to the vibrating surfaces which simulate the hull of the yacht or boat, they were just suspended in the water, yet still did not attract fouling, clearly showing that Ultrasonic Works’ ClearHull antifouling properties travel through water and therefore offer a degree of protection to other parts of the boat, as well as the hull.
Algae and larvae float freely in the water and regularly come into contact with boat hulls. They spawn all year round making them a great pest to the marine industry, causing large amounts of drag, reducing speed and fuel economy. When they come into contact with the hull they will try and settle.
The ClearHull system works with a periodic sweep of frequencies giving the best chance at damaging the organelle of the algae and larvae. This sweep will vibrate the organelle of the larvae and algae causing them to become damaged or detached, the key factor in keeping the hull free of contamination. With the organelle of the algae and larvae damaged or failing they will either die in the case of most larvae, or sink.
The patent-pending ClearHull system is an intelligent, well-engineered product of exceptional quality and value, which is claimed to exceed the effectiveness of existing ultrasonic anti-fouling technology. ClearHull not only keeps the hull clear of algae and crustaceans it can also communicate the current status of the system together with battery levels, water temperature etc. to a computer, mobile phone or tablet. In this way, ClearHull takes ultrasonic antifouling to a new professional level and, at a similar price to other less advanced ultrasonic systems, offers remarkable value for money.
Ultrasonic Works new ultrasonic antifouling system brings design engineering together with a deep understanding of maritime algae and crustaceans. Having previously designed and produced advanced water treatment systems for commercial and industrial applications, the team at Ultrasonic Works has now developed and adapted this technology to manufacture ClearHull - the ‘next generation’ antifouling system, specifically designed for the marine environment. Further information from www.ultrasonicworks.com