Saturday 20th Jul, 2019

Eye of the storm: Vortex Global’s new ship loading spout

Vortex Global has designed a new ship loading chute to reduce the environmental impact of grain dusts in ports.

Reliability and environmental safety are some of the most critical design features for ship loading equipment.

Mark Schaberg, Vortex’s Chief Engineer, explains how the company has designed its new loading chute to help protect a port’s nearby neighbourhoods, waterways and surrounding ecosystems from grain dust emissions.

“Nowadays, ports worldwide consider pollution prevention a primary objective – paying special mind to reducing dust emissions and preventing cargo overflow or spillage,” he says.

“To address these concerns, it is critical to incorporate sophisticated engineering controls and dust control measures.”

The Vortex Grain Ship Loading Chute has been specifically designed to capture fugitive dust and prevent material waste. It is capable of loading more than 4,000 cubic metres of grain per hour, making it one of the fastest and most efficient loading solutions in the world.

Its discharge filtration system is located at the bottom of the chute and is used for additional dust control in chutes with longer extended travel distances. The discharge filtration system displaces dust-laden air from its source and separates dusts from the air, exhausting the cleaned air back into the atmosphere and entrains the filtered dusts back into the load.

Throughout the loading process, four high-volume exhaust blowers capture grain dusts in pleated polyester filter cartridges. An automatic pulse jet system uses high pressure compressed air to purge the filters and send the captured dusts down into the bulk carrier. By continuously purging the filters, it minimises material waste.

The filter cartridges are rated at efficiencies of 99.97 per cent at one third of a micron sizes, 99.99 per cent at half micron sizes and 100 per cent efficiency at one micron.

Each Grain Ship Loading Chute is custom designed to fulfil the specific needs of a customer’s application requirements, including modifying the overall chute size to meet certain load rates or vertical travel distance requirements.

The chute is constructed from telescoping tubes which slide into one another as it retracts, which reduces the overall height and allows bulk carriers safe entry and exit at ports. These tubes are constructed from durable metal materials to protect the chute from the surrounding environment and abrasion from the grains being handled.

The chutes use a two cable, dual-drum, two-part reeving hoist drive system, which includes redundant features to limit travel at the upper and lower limits, as well as over and under speed conditions and cable tension monitoring. Further, its winch system has been designed at a five to one service factor.