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AWI research vessel Polarstern relies on modern SAACKE boiler control system

Almost 40 years of cooperation: Reliable technology indispensable in the perpetual ice

© Folke Mehrtens/Alfred-Wegener-Institut

The Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) research vessel Polarstern is the flagship of German polar research. Since 1982, it has covered more than 1.7 million nautical miles (as of 2021), travelling over long periods of time in regions with inhospitable temperatures and living conditions. This was also the case on the globally acclaimed MOSAiC expedition, during which the scientists spent a year trapped in the ice in the Arctic in order to gain fundamental insights into our global climate.


Safe and efficient: heat recovery and auxiliary thermal energy on board

Anyone who embarks on research expeditions in such punishing environments needs one thing above all else in addition to specialist know-how: reliable, safe and efficient technology. Since the maiden voyage of the Polarstern almost 40 years ago, combustion systems from SAACKE in Bremen have been providing vital space heating and urgently needed hot water as well as auxiliary thermal energy for the ship's operating systems. "Our service also includes keeping the systems up to date at all times and retrofitting them individually. In this way, we make our contribution to the AWI's important polar and climate research expeditions in cooperation with the crew and ship management of the F. Laeisz shipping company," explains Axel Friese, Senior Project Manager at SAACKE. Thus, shortly before the MOSAiC mission, new SKV rotary atomizer burners were installed as a preventive measure in order to continue to meet the highest availability requirements in the world's most sensitive waters.


Control monitoring also remotely online 

A state-of-the-art boiler control system is also currently being installed. The so-called "se@vis" control system is equipped with an online interface so that the systems can optionally be checked or serviced remotely. Tips and support for optimizing the performance of the components would therefore be possible, if required, even without a technician on board.


The SAACKE mission:
most available power
at lowest possible