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Sea Water Ingression into Provision Refrigerator
Condensing Unit
Technical Committee
Type of ship Chip carrier
Date of completion September 1995
Navigation route JapanAustralia
Damaged machinery
Category Refrigerator
Name Provision Refrigerator Condensing Unit
Type RKS 5F
Maker Namirei Co., Ltd
Date of trouble December 10. 2010

1. Damage Description
During a daily inspection on the way to Nagoya from an Australian port, it was found that the No.2
Provision Refrigerator Condensing Unit's operating condition was abnormal, and the unit was stopped
immediately. A subsequent inspection revealed that one of the cooling pipes in the condenser had
developed a hole.
Although only one pipe had a hole, a lot of water was leaking from it, and it was confirmed that sea water
had entered the coolant piping system. So the crew tried to remove the sea water from the system by
using the compressed air, but it turned out that this was not possible.
The refrigeration unit in question was stopped and the provision inside was moved to other refrigerators on
board as much as possible. It was decided to repair the condensing unit after entering port.
In order to check possible damage and prevent corrosion, other components were overhauled, but there was
no damage or corrosion.
The S/B compressor was also overhauled, but no problem was found as in the running unit.

2. Cause
The only damaged part was one cooling water pipe in the condenser. This damage was detected very early
and this limited the overall damage to the system minimum.
The hole had developed due to the cooling pipe wear and subsequent reduction in wall thickness. The wall
thickness reduction can be attributed to:
(1) Wear and corrosion due to prolonged use.
(2) Corrosion erosion such as inlet attack.
(3) Material or manufacturing defects.
Since all the cooling sea water pipes had been renewed two years before the incident, (1) can be excluded,
but it was impossible to determine which of the remaining two factors, i.e. (2) and (3) contributed to the

3. Repair
After reaching port, shore-side personnel fixed the broken unit. The following checks and repairs were

The Marine Engineer. September, 2011

(1) Renewal of the damaged cooling pipe.

(2) Warm-water washing, N2 gas blow and vacuum drying of the coolant pipe.
(3) Charging of the coolant.
(4) Cooling pipe leakage check.
(5) Test operation.
During the test operation, Dryer silica gel was checked and changed several times to dry the coolant piping
Test operation was done with not only No.2 Unit but also No.1 Unit, which was on stand-by.

4. Countermeasure
The following preventive measures were introduced:
(1) Coolant leakage check when the condenser is overhauled.
(2) Stopping of sea water supply to the stand-by condenser.

Photo 1: Cleaning of piping system for prov. ref. unit

Photo 2: Damaged condenser tube for prov. ref. unit

The Marine Engineer. September, 2011