Keel cooling. What is it and what are its advantages?
Keel cooling is a closed circuit cooling system externally mounted below the waterline on the vessel hull.
The concept of keel cooling is similar to that of a radiator in a car. The motor coolant circulates through the keel cooling system, which transfers the heat of the coolant before it returns to the motor
The keel cooling system is in constant contact with the seawater, allowing the cooling system to transfer the heat efficiently between the coolant and the seawater.
The keel cooling system is externally mounted below the waterline on the vessel hull. The engine coolant circulates through the keel cooling system, which transfers the heat of the coolant before it returns to the motor. The keel cooling system is in constant contact with the seawater so as to transfer heat efficiently.
For an in-depth look at the features and benefits of a keel cooling system, read on.
¿What are the advantages of a keel cooling system?
When compared to an open circuit cooling system (internal heat exchanger), a closed circuit cooling system offers various distinct advantages.
A closed circuit cooling system eliminates the need for an internal heat exchanger, untreated water pumps, filters, seawater pipes and the high maintenance associated with open circuit cooling systems.
It also eliminates the build-up of sediments, algae and sand in the cooling circuit and protects the system from the corrosive effect of salt water. The use of a keel cooling system eliminates the need for seawater to enter the hull.
Keel cooler installation types:
Recessing a keel cooling system streamlines the installation and provides significant protection against potential damage. Independent tests conducted at the Vienna Test Basin have demonstrated that drag is negligible when the unit is recessed into the hull of the boat. The recess can be positioned on the side or the bottom of the hull.
This type of installation is common in new projects and ideal for fast-moving boats.
An external installation generally uses fairing and side plates for greater protection and to improve streamlining.
This mounting option is commonly used in retrofitting projects.
Mounting the keel cooling unit on the side of the hull avoids possible damage to the unit.
It is ideal in situations where the keel cooling unit cannot be mounted on the underside of the hull.
Internal (Box coolers)
Boxcoolers are systems specially designed for the commercial maritime transport industry. These cool the primary circuit with seawater. With these systems, the tanks, valves and seawater pumps become redundant. Boxcoolers can be installed on both sides of the boat or lengthwise. They are very compact and suitable for fresh and salt water. Box cooler models with insulation coating are particularly suitable for seawater.
In summary, in a keel cooling system there is a saltwater circuit and, failing that, the coolant circuit is led to an external cooler, normally located in the hull, to be cooled directly with seawater.
When a Solé engine is requested, and prepared for keel cooling, we manufacture the engine and adapt it for this function, with a dry exhaust flange instead of a wet exhaust, and without a saltwater cooling system circuit.*
If you have a project underway to install an engine on a ship, cargo ship, fishing boat, or any other commercial vessel, do not hesitate to contact your nearest Solé distributor to ask for advice without obligation.
*Solé does not design, supply, nor is not responsible for the external installation system.