This week landed with a brief news “technique” who flew through my head a few weeks ago when I read a story in the "Voz de Galicia". This week I dedicate the news to my sister Ainhoa, that while demand (although this is not exactly the waiting, but will have another). At the end of the year 2002 a Galician company patented in 24 Boat countries airbag. Prevented the system (and prevents) a boat sinking in the event that a leak occurs. The idea, even older, dated back to 1998. The Kafloat, extracted English name "keep afloat" (stay afloat), It is a system that prevents the collapse and ensure the buoyancy of the boat if a leak occurs.
The system could be installed in both new boats and already active, provided they do not exceed the 20 GRT (TRB). Thus, at first, merchant vessels may not benefit from Kafloat, although such vessels are already equipped with watertight compartments that can be isolated in case of flooding in one (damage stability). But that does not occur in fishing boats and yachts, hence they are the type of boats that could most benefit from the invention of the Galician team.
Understanding the functioning of Kafloat is easy if summarizes explaining that it is applying the airbag cars to boats. The security element is inserted into the hull of a ship a series of cylindrical parts that are stored inside buoyancy elements (balloons) connected to a kind of cylinder gas that blows the bags when a sensor installed inside the vessel detects water or when the pattern pressed a device installed in the cockpit to shoot manually the buoyancy elements. The number of balloons that each vessel must carry for the Kafloat be effective is a function of size and tonnage.
The inflatable boats incorporating improvements over automobiles. The first is that, while gas bags are driven, the system issues a GPS signal to report the coordinates where the accident occurred.
Initially there was skepticism of naval engineers at the idea. It was said that one could only apply to ships Kafloat small size, because the amount of air needed to keep afloat a large ship is huge. Evidently, The easiest formula to prevent accidents is to anticipate possible accidents during ship design, as is done today.
Kafloat been working to launch a system that improves the buoyancy of the boat and now thirteen years 2014, following recent maritime disasters in Galicia, announced that it is looking for partners and government support, by helping to improve the security of the fisheries sector to implement a device to avoid more deaths at sea. Those responsible for the firm stand that FAO places the work of the sea and the profession with more risk involved for what they believe needs to be a better support system.
Far, the kafloat system was installed in three boats and indicates that is optimized for boats up 30 meters in length.
The company is now looking for an industrial and commercial system consolidation, so look for partners to provide “know-how” and strengthening the business structure that understand the project needs, following a process of long approvals and authorizations, which has resulted in a significant reduction in their budget.
The minimum time remaining is swollen 24 hours, a time when they could act emergency equipment and even sea rescue, depending on the distance, tow the boat to port for repairs.
The number of cylinders and the price of the installation will depend on the size of the vessel, but, for instance, a new boat 16 meters in length, six flotation elements, the system would cost about 18.000 euros.
In 2008 the Tecnolóxico Center Celeiro da Fisheries and Kafloat signed a cooperation agreement that would analyze the costs of implementing the airbag known as fishing and adapt to the measures and characteristics of the various units of fleet. The idea was to submit to tests in two boats Celeiro, The St. James (floating classroom and test) Pino and Montero.
In 2009 the boat "Serra do Caurel", based in Sanxenxo, a patrol of 11 meters long and 10,45 TRBs belonging to the Coast Guard of the Xunta de Galicia, was the first ship in the world, ICCM also Prototype (Canarian Institute of Marine Sciences) in which the tests were made mandatory sea for approval, who sailed with this system rescue, the most modern and innovative security, thus protecting the own ship as good Material, and especially the lives of the crew.
The mechanism, coruñesa patented by the company of the same name, was tested in a prototype of a fishing experiences in the Canal de El Pardo (CEHIPAR) with positive results.
With the delivery of the ship to the General Department of the Xunta Guard, and after seven years of R D i, the Galician company Kafloat S.L.. gave the final step towards its expansion in the commercial sector, bringing the world of Mar substantial aid, to prevent or delay the sinking.
Basically, the Kafloat System consists of the installation of:
1. A watertight floating modules of suitable size, located inside the hull and attached to their sides along his work alive, containing therein:
– A folded composite floats made with polymerized.
– Inflation systems and maintaining said floats pressure through fluid.
2. A control unit that receives information from sensors suitably arranged inside the boat. This control unit has a number of subsystems that are responsible for activating the buoyancy elements if water entering one or more of the compartments or the whole boat if it has no watertight compartmentalization. The characteristics of the subsystems are as follows:
– A clear presentation of the information they provide detection sensors on the height of the flood in the compartments of the ship or on a dangerous slope.
– Manual activation of ejection mechanism and inflating balloons.
– Expulsion Program and inflated by automatic activation in correct sequence and considering ejection failures balloons.
Installation is simple and quick, being able to take advantage of regulatory stranded or any other work of maintenance to perform the installation of this new system. The space occupied modules Kafloat System (detection, activation, inflation and flotation) is very low and the hull on the outer side is unaffected in their original forms and therefore not harmful to their speed and friction.
Kafloat, flotation module, includes three modes of operation:
1. Automatic Subsystem: if flash flooding or where lack of human attention, subsystem responds automatic expulsion and inflated.
2. Manual Subsystem: Will in most cases the system used. The time available allows the human brain act more logically that the short program that provides automatic reaction. Always manual control subsystem (“Override”) on automatic.
3. Semi Subsystem: If necessary interrupted, improvement and activation sequence modified.
The KAFLOAT system can be activated automatically or manually. Once the system is activated, one shearable cover is ejected allowing subsequent inflation output and appropriate floats. Once inflated the corresponding floats remain anchored to the hull structure to supplement insufficient stability and buoyancy to the vessel may suffer, preventing its collapse.
The news of the Voz de Galicia who said at first is that the Guardia Civil incorporate next year to its fleet two new patrol boats that will be equipped with maritime safety system Kafloat. The two patrol, navigation designed for sustained, "They are designed and equipped for surveillance and combating drug trafficking and illegal immigration, besides the protection of the marine environment, in the area of own tasks of the Guardia Civil ", explained from the Asturian shipyard Gondán, which are already under construction for delivery in the 2015.