Page 21: of Marine News Magazine (October 2016)

Salvage & Spill Response

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A skimmer is tested in oil slick thicknesses ranging from 2-inches to 1/8-inch ations of equipment and remediation techniques that en- able rapid and ef? cient response to an actual spill. “We are the intermediate step between small-scale bench testing and open water testing,” says Paul Meyer, BSEE’s Ohmsett

Manager. “With the ability to control the testing environ- ment, we are able to provide repeatable test conditions. This way, any equipment modi? cations can be measured and compared with each test performed, giving our customers the opportunity to optimize equipment performance.”

With a wide range of testing and research capabilities, the oil spill response community relies on Ohmsett for in- dependent and objective testing. “Our staff of engineers and technicians assists customers with test protocol devel- opment, product evaluations, and provides improvement recommendations,” says John Delia, MAR program man- ager for Ohmsett.

The Nuts & Bolts of Research & Testing

Over the years BSEE has funded multiple research projects at Ohmsett. Most recently, two highly successful projects conducted by BSEE were the Diminishing Slick

Thickness test and the ICEHORSE Submersible Skim- Every Day mer. Earlier this year, Ohmsett personnel conducted per- formance testing of two oleophilic skimming systems to better understand the relationship between Oil Recovery

Realistic Testing in World Class Facilities Rates and Recovery Ef? ciencies in varying oil slick thick-

At the heart of the facility is one of the largest outdoor nesses or diminishing slick thicknesses. saltwater wave/tow tank facilities in North America. It is At Ohmsett, skimming systems are tested to the ASTM the only facility where full-scale oil spill response equip- F2709, the standard for testing the performance of sta- ment testing, research, and training can be conducted in tionary skimmers in calm water conditions. However, the a marine environment with oil under controlled environ- ASTM F2709 standard calls for testing in 3-2 inches of oil mental conditions. in order to create the ideal conditions necessary to measure

The tank measures 203 meters long by 20 meters wide a skimming system’s maximum performance. But, in an by 2.4 meters deep and is ? lled with 10 million liters of actual oil spill it is likely that a skimmer will operate in a crystal clear saltwater. The three movable bridges are capa- thinner range of oil thicknesses. In this test series, a drum ble of towing equipment up to six knots to simulate towing and disc skimmer were tested to ASTM F2709, as well as at sea. A crow’s nest mounted on the movable main bridge in various other oil slick thicknesses ranging from 2-inches above the water provides a vantage point for mounting test to 1/8-inch using standard re? ned test oil. equipment, such as sensors to remotely detect oil spills, as “This series of experiments was the ? rst of its kind and well as for video documentation of a test. represents a continuation of basic research data associated

The facility is also equipped with a computerized wave with quantifying skimmer performance with varying test pa- generator capable of producing wave characteristics of 59 rameters,” stated Kristi McKinney, a BSEE project manager. cm height (H1/3 at 7 meter wavelengths), 83 cm height A signi? cant oil spill response challenge is recovering (H1/3 irregular waves), and wavelengths up to 30 meters. oil in ice. While response equipment and techniques to

Ohmsett plays a critical role in providing full-scale evalu- contain and recover oil spills in the offshore Arctic re- 21


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Marine News

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