Technical difficulties happen on land - and at sea. Blogger Sara has been having some trouble getting her blogs and photographs to us. If you've been asking yourself, "Where are Sara's blogs?", you're not alone! Her many fans want to hear from her! Thanks to the IT department aboard the TS Kennedy who will be getting things repaired today!
Salt Water In The Condenser
Today, I spent a few hours in the Engine Room observing the watch engineers fix a relatively large issue. There was somehow salt water in the condenser which was leaking into the boiler. Salt water can do a lot of damage in a high temperature setting such as a boiler. The boiler is only equipped to have fresh water that it turns into steam which is why the salt water and starts to corrode everything inside including the steam drum. The plan to fix this was to pump out the salt water from the boiler in hopes to avoid any corrosion.
The reason that the salt water entered the condenser in the first place is because the engine room “blew a tube”. That means that there was a puncture in just one of the 3,400 tubes that carry seawater for cooling inside the condenser which helps the steam condense. This is the same effect as when a cup has ice inside and the outside of the cup starts to sweat and the water droplets begin to run down the side of the cup. The moisture in the air condenses on the cup. The seawater running through the tubes is comparable to the ice inside the cup while the steam is the humidity in the air surrounding the cup.
Here are the Engine Room VIPs with our VIB (Very Important Blogger). This photo shows the entire Engine Room Senior Watch Team: 1/C Mitchell Miskell, 1/C Joshua Yanofsky, Cadet Chief Engineer, 1/C Cole Kugler, Cadet 1st Assistant Engineer, Blogger Sara, 1/C Sarah Karentz, 2nd Boiler Rate, 1/C Tim Hird-Devlin, 2nd Fabrication Rate, 1/C Chris Gorman, 2nd Training Rate, 1/C Luke Granato, 3rd Training Rate
This is a clean burner waiting to be put in the boiler.
This is the burner inside the boiler.
NYREX Evaporator Assessment
All 1/C MENG cadets have six assessments to complete before the end of Sea Term 2019. I followed 1/C JD Bouzan around while he completed his NYREX Evaporator start-up assessment with CMDR Alan Gillis.
The NYREX Evaporator is a freshwater generator that turns seawater into freshwater by way of flash evaporation. The vacuum inside the NRYEX allows you to boil water below 212 ° F. Normally, water only boils at 212° F at atmospheric pressure but the NYREX allows us to change the pressure creating new properties for the water inside.
The NYREX is located in the Auxiliary Machine Room (AMR) located in the Engine Room one deck below the main operating level. It is very loud in there since there are multiple machines running which meant that I couldn’t hear what JD was saying to CMDR Gillis but he received an 8 out of 10 so I guess he knew what to do!
Here is a short, silent video that shows how the desalination process works.
Here are 1/C Cole Kugler, 1/C Chris Gorman, and 1/C Tim Hird-Devlin at work in the Engine Room.
If you’ve ever seen a picture of a steam ship with black smoke coming out from the stacks, chances are the engine room was “blowing tubes” or “blowing the stacks”. This means the engineers are trying to clean off the soot buildup on the boilers. When soot builds up, heat is not able to be transferred from the tubes effectively. The fire is on the outside of the tubes and the water is on the inside meaning the soot acts as an insulator which is bad in this case.
The Kennedy has two boilers, one on the port side and the other on the starboard. We were able to clear all seven tubes on each side for a total of fourteen tubes. Before the engineers are able to blow tubes, they need to call the Bridge and alert them to the procedure that is about to happen so they can turn the ship to let the soot be picked up from the wind. Once the Bridge has given the okay, the engine room begins to open up the valves leading from the tubes to the stacks where the open air is. Another valve controls the steam that is used to give the soot an extra boost and jumps it into the air. This is done roughly two times a day.
Here is a short video that was taken in 2008 of the TS Enterprise "blowing her stacks". As you know, the TS Enterprise became the TS Kennedy on January 10, 2009.