Metal-free Sea Climaver® changes the game in marine HVAC

article picture: Metal-free Sea Climaver<sup style='font-size: 50%;'>®</sup> changes the game in marine HVAC

Ship owners and operators are looking for ever more efficient and sustainable HVAC solutions for their vessels – and they also would prefer them smaller, lighter and quieter. Saint-Gobain has developed an all-in-one duct system, by the name of Sea Climaver®, that checks all these boxes.

Sea Climaver® is made from dense, rigid glass wool boards. Sea Climaver®’s self-supporting air ducts offer a cost-effective, easy-to-install alternative to traditional insulated metal ducts.

Saint-Gobain Finland Oy (ISOVER)

“Duct sections are assembled easily, without the need for expensive machinery usually used on-site,” confirms Key Account Manager Herkko Miettinen, the man behind this new marine innovation.

The Climaver® solution itself has been around for quite a while, with Saint-Gobain launching it already back in 1969. However, in November 2020 Miettinen got to thinking, if a marine application would make sense commercially.

“I was convinced that we could have a duct system that is a lot lighter than the traditional ones – and reducing weight onboard is exactly what ship-owners are after right now.”

Saint-Gobain Finland Oy (ISOVER)

Make it light!

Turns out that compared to a traditional ductwork solution (metal duct + insulation), Sea Climaver® reduces the weight of your average HVAC ductwork by up to 65%.

“This translates directly into reduced fuel consumption, which in turn decreases green house gas emissions,” Miettinen points out.

Miettinen wasted no time in getting the international Saint-Gobain team together and pitched them the idea. With the green light from colleagues, he contacted International Royal Caribbean and Meyer Turku shipyard: would they be interested in a pilot?

“First, we made mockup to test the concept, and received an OK also from classification society. The next step was finding a suitable pilot.”

Pretty soon, Sea Climaver® found a piloting opportunity, and not a modest one at that: Sea Climaver® solution was to cover a test area of 1,500 square metres on Icon of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s newest cruise ship.

Top performance from newcomer

With Icon of the Seas sailing off from Turku in December 2023, there’s already some experiences on the performance of the Sea Climaver® system. Miettinen says that Sea Climaver® has met all expectations and even exceeded them.

“Energy efficiency of the system is exceptional and it’s very quiet, too.”

Saint-Gobain Finland Oy (ISOVER)

Great thermal resistance, reduced thermal bridges and excellent airtightness help reduce energy consumption and limit greenhouse gas emissions from the ventilation system.

“Now that we’ve proven the concept on Icon, we will do a bigger area on Star of the Seas,” Miettinen reveals. In addition to new vessels, also the retrofit market will benefit from the new system.

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by: Sami J. Anteroinen


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