IBEX 365 News
2022 IBEX Innovation Award Interview with ElectroSea
News Date: April 2023
ElectroStrainer is the first, all-in-one, smart biofouling prevention system with integrated sea straining for boats and replaces old-style sea strainers. ElectroStrainer prevents biofouling from its strainer basket through all seawater lines and combines three components: an innovative biofouling-prevention device, a hydrodynamic sea strainer, and an advanced smart flow-monitoring system.
What problem does this product solve?
Barnacles, biofilm, algae, and unwanted marine growth in sea strainers and seawater intake lines are a never-ending problem. Marine air conditioners rely on seawater for heat exchange and cooling. Seawater enters the vessel and passes through the sea strainer to the pump and onto the air-conditioning equipment. Unfortunately, in as little as a few weeks, the sea strainer and pipes become clogged with unwanted marine growth. This biofouling decreases seawater flow to air conditioners causing high-pressure alarms and eventual failure. Prior to ElectroStrainer, the only option was to manually clean the strainer basket and perform regular acid descaling treatments. By generating a low level of chlorine directly inside the sea strainer, ElectroStrainer creates an environment in the sea strainer and air-conditioning lines where unwanted marine growth simply cannot happen, preventing the problem before it even begins.
How did you become aware of this problem?
ElectroSea founder Dr. Louis Cosentino recognized the problem marine growth was creating for the air-conditioning system on his 72’ sportfish vessel. He was frustrated by the amount of time and resources his crew dedicated to cleaning the sea strainer basket and performing acid descaling. Even more so, he had grown tired of the unreliable performance of his air-conditioning system due to high-pressure alarms and unexpected failures. As an expert at solving complex technical problems, he knew there had to be “a better way,” and, with more than 100 U.S. patents in medical technologies, he knew this was a problem he could solve.
Who is the target market for this product?
ElectroStrainer can be used on nearly every boat that has an air conditioner, chiller, or cockpit refrigeration that uses seawater constantly for heat exchange.
What is noteworthy about the technology used?
ElectroStrainer was designed and developed in-house, from initial idea to final product. The technology is environmentally friendly. No chemical additives or acids are required, and it replaces the need to acid-descale. Routine descaling with harsh chemicals, such as phosphoric and muriatic acid, can decrease the life of air-conditioner coils and other sensitive equipment, not to mention the harmful impact to people and the environment.
How is it different from any other solution on the market?
Rather than removing barnacles, biofilm, and algae using time-consuming and harmful methods, such as acid descaling, ElectroStrainer is a proactive, environmentally friendly solution that prevents marine growth before it begins. By generating a low level of chlorine–about the same level as found in tap water–directly inside the strainer basket using nothing but a DC current and an electrochemical cell, ElectroStrainer is maintenance free. Instead of peering through a dirty sight glass or opening the strainer and making a mess in your engine room, simply look at the digital flow-rate display. ElectroStrainer alerts you if the internal strainer basket needs attention with its “CHECK STRAINER” smart alert. It also tells you exactly how much seawater is flowing through your seawater system in real time, assuring you it’s protecting your boat’s cooling systems.
What obstacles did you encounter in the R&D process?
The biggest challenge faced by ElectroSea’s R&D team was combining ElectroStrainer’s three components–an innovative biofouling prevention device, a hydrodynamic sea strainer, and an advanced smart flow-monitoring system–into one compact unit.
What customizations are available to personalize this product?
ElectroStrainer is available in six models, ranging from 1” to 2” input/output with maximum flow rates of up to 75 gallons per minute. For vessels requiring more flow than 75 gpm, simply place multiple ElectroStrainer units in parallel. ElectroStrainer’s control unit can also be switched to metric units to display the flow rate in liters per minute.
How has the product been received?
The response from our customers has been overwhelmingly positive. We are astounded by the number of customers that approach us at a boat show or on the docks to let us know how happy they are with their ElectroSea system. The growing demand for ElectroStrainer, a large portion of which is based on word of mouth, speaks for itself. Perhaps Viking Yachts President Pat Healy summed it up best when he said: “It’s an awesome system; it’s a game changer”.
Additional comments (anything else we should know?)
ElectroSea growth-prevention products have over 11 million run hours and counting on boats of nearly every type and size. Our global dealer network and large customer base provides exposure to a wide array of challenging marine environments. ElectroSea has also introduced SeaStrong® pumps. Featuring a sealless magnetic drive, these pumps are designed specifically for seawater air conditioners, chillers, and livewells where uptime is critical. Because they are built for long-term reliability, ElectroSea offers a two-year warranty on SeaStrong pumps when used with our growth-prevention products.
To see all the 2022 IBEX Innovation Award winners, click here.