According to Ayles Fernie International Ltd, a specialist in the design and manufacture of Oil Dispersant Spray Systems, static dispersant systems are common sources of frustration.

Traditional systems require the operative to stay in a single location on a vessel, sending instructions via radio or running back and forth to adjust the settings. The Clearspray 150 FBC changes that. Now users can control everything from a portable, handheld touchscreen device.

Designed for operation from tugs, offshore supply vessels, workboats and other specialised vessels using a variety of application equipment including spray arms and even drop-out nozzles, the Clearspray 150 FBC allows for all settings parameters to be input on the touchscreen device itself, which mirrors with the bridge. There are two modes: training and spill response. Training sprays only sea water and gives the opportunity to become familiar with the system before needing to use dispersant liquids in a live situation.

A spill can be a stressful time, and every moment counts. That’s why there’s a visual interface on the Clearspray 150 FBC: on start-up, the operative is shown five different oil spills, from which they simply choose the closest to the spill observed from the vessel. The system then estimates the oil thickness and sets the pump unit to deliver the correct amount of dispersant – but, critically, it is possible to adjust the thickness parameter using the on-screen buttons. Once satisfied, the user adds the vessel speed and desired dispersant to oil ratio, and then simply starts the pump. And, of course, it’s still possible to input all parameters manually if required.

Another feature is the ability to change the parameters without stopping the pump, allowing the operative to react a lot quicker. In addition, they will receive feedback on the outlet flow rate, pressure, tank level, total dispersant sprayed, remaining spraying time, and total running time.

The Clearspray 150 FBC Handheld Touchscreen is approved for use in an Atex Zone 1 environment and is supplied with a harness for hands-free operation.

By Jake Frith

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