19: How long do Marine Oil Coolers last?
There are a number of factors to consider when projecting the life of a marine oil cooler.
For example, has the correct product been selected for the cooling requirement?
Has it been installed and commissioned correctly?
Is the velocity (or flow rate) and pressure of the cooling medium within manufacturers recommendations?
Has the unit been maintained and serviced in line with manufacturers requirements?
Assuming all the of the above questions (and possibly a few more) have been correctly addressed, there is no reason why a good quality marine oil cooler, from a well known, reputable company such as Bowman, shouldn’t last for more than 20 years.
But to achieve this, it’s vital that the unit is correctly specified, installed, commissioned and maintained.
For example, on marine oil coolers fitted with Cupro-nickel tube stacks, it is vitally important to ensure the copper-nickel alloy tubes are ‘conditioned’ correctly, to enable the thin layer of natural protective film to form on the tube surface, to provide long term corrosion protection.
Additionally, if the manufacturers recommended water flow rate is exceeded, high velocity seawater entering the oil cooler can quickly erode the tubes and tube plates, leading to premature failure, so following the guidelines is critical!
And the well documented rise of plastic waste in our oceans, means that in addition to having adequate filtration of the incoming seawater, it’s also really important to inspect and clean an oil cooler regularly, to maintain its performance and extend the life of the unit!
The good news is that if looked after correctly, a marine oil cooler can operate reliably for decades.
In fact Bowman often hear of instances where their marine oil coolers have been working for more than 40 years!
Bowman manufacture a very wide range of oil coolers to suit most marine applications and have a computer based selection programme, to recommend the correct unit for the application.