Industrial water chiller: relied on by rescued divers to provide cool air in an emergency


Summit Matsu Chillers supplied Divex Asia Pacific with the 30 kW industrial water chiller which is a key component in their hyperbaric chamber as it supplies rescued divers in the chamber with chilled air.  The hyperbaric rescue chamber is deployed into the ocean in an emergency situation and is situated at the bottom of the ocean to provide divers in trouble with a habitat to remain in while waiting to be rescued.

The arising need for a rescue action plan for working divers

A team of divers use Divex Asia Pacific equipment all over the world predominately doing work on oil rigs, fixing pylons and laying cables that lie on the ocean floor.  Divers rely on equipment which connects to the ship that is controlled and monitored by workers aboard the ship for their continued survival for the duration that they’re under water working as well as for a destination to return to once they finish working. 

In the scenario of an incident on the ship such as a fire or other problems, the divers would have no control or power to support themselves, or a destination to return to.  Given the danger and risks involved in this line of work, preventative measures had to be taken to reduce these risks.  To enhance work safety in this instance, a rescue action plan has been put in place in case any problems ever do arise with the ship that prevents the machinery on the ship being operational to support the divers. The industrial water chiller is used as part of a rescue strategy to prevent the divers from being left permanently under pressure through ceased support from aboard the ship.

The rescue process & role of the industrial water chiller

Aboard the diving ship is a support rescue boat and a hyperbaric rescue chamber.  A hyperbaric chamber is a sealable diving chamber with a pressure vessel that has hatches which have enough space for divers to enter and exit, and an air compressor to raise the internal air pressure.  Hyperbaric chambers enable divers to decompress, and if necessary quickly be brought up to the surface. 

The hyperbaric rescue chamber provides a water tide environment in which the divers can remain until they are rescued.  A container is kept on the rescue boat where the industrial water chiller and other equipment is stored that will be required to support the divers who will be able to safely relocate to the hyperbaric rescue chamber.  In the case of an incident, the nearest pressurised life boat is dropped into the ocean to assist the divers.

The rescue boat becomes the new location where the divers in the rescue hyperbaric chamber are controlled from through cables connected to pressure vessels. The divers remain in the hyperbaric rescue chamber until they are rescued and the industrial water chiller ensures the chamber air temperature is comfortable for the divers in the mean time and prevents over heating.  The function of the industrial water chiller is to supply chilled air to prevent the chamber from rapidly over heating after deployment.  The industrial water chiller supplies chilled water to a heat exchanger which is converted to chilled air and pumped into the hyperbaric rescue chamber.  The ambient air environment in the hyperbaric rescue chamber can reach anywhere between 40 to 50 degrees celsius and the industrial water chiller brings this temperature right down to 25 degrees.  This enables divers in the rescue hyperbaric chamber to remain in a comfortable environment, where they can breathe easily and avoid death resulted from overheating, lack of oxygen and dehydration.

About Divex Asia Pacific

Divex Asia Pacific design, supply, manufacture, research and develop Sub Sea Equipment for commercial, professional and defense divers.  Divex Asia Pacific headquarters in Scotland also has sales & support operations in Stirling & London in the UK, Germany, Dubai, South Africa and Australia.  Divex Asia Pacific acquired the industrial water chiller for saturation diving in this instance.

The old way vs. the new way

Previously Divex Asia Pacific purchased industrial water chillers from Italy, however there was a longer lead time, and if they had any issues with the industrial water chiller it was “hard to deal with,” according to Allan Lewis – Production Manager at Divex Asia Pacific who looks after the industrial water chillers.  It was beneficial for Divex Asia Pacific to switch to a local Australian supplier such as Summit Matsu Chillers who in addition to being a local manufacturer had the most reliable industrial water chiller to offer.  Further to this Summit Matsu Chillers were able to offer a much shorter lead time so that the industrial water chiller could be quickly manufactured for use in the hyperbaric rescue chamber.

The importance of industrial water chiller reliability

For such an important application it was critical that Divex Asia Pacific have their manufacturer and service technicians close by for preventative maintenance purposes and also to address any technical questions or problems that may arise in order to consistently maintain the industrial water chiller so if any incident does occur with the ship, the hyperbaric rescue chamber and life boat action plan can smoothly be implemented to assist the divers.

The reliability of Summit Matsu Chillers in this case is emphasised by the nature of its application.  If the industrial water chiller didn’t work in a situation when the rescue boat has been deployed then the divers would not survive a ship breakdown.  A consequence of a rescue failure would result in the diving job being viewed as a higher risk and will reduce the amount of workers willing to work in this line of work which obtains such an important resource that is so necessary in the daily lives of individuals on a global basis.  Therefore it is no exaggeration in saying the industrial water chillers are relied on when it comes to matters of life and death, and further to the daily lives in terms of oil availability and pricing.  By aiding a rescue process a safe work environment is provided which encourages people to work in this industry.

About Summit Matsu Chillers

Summit Matsu Chillers has been in the industry for more than 50 years so when it comes to manufacturing industrial water chillers they are more than qualified in terms of expertise and experience.  The case presented by Divex Asia Pacific is a demonstration of when Summit Matsu Chillers has successfully manufactured an industrial water chiller to provide a solution for a customer need.  Industries that Summit Matsu Chillers serve include food, HVAC, plastics, manufacturing, chemicals, mining, hospitals, pharmaceuticals and many more.

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