Although modern hull coatings can provide some protection against corrosion, they seldom offer a complete solution. For this reason, most operators choose to protect their vessels with a purpose-designed impressed current cathodic protection system (ICCP).
Using an arrangement of hull mounted anodes and reference cells connected to a control panel, the ICCP system produces a powerful impressed external current to suppress the natural electrochemical activity on the wetted surface of the hull. This eliminates the formation of aggressive corrosion cells on the surface of plates and avoids the problems, which can exist where dissimilar metals are introduced through welding or brought into proximity by other components such as propellers.
An essential feature of Impressed Current Cathodic Protection (ICCP) systems is that they constantly monitor the electrical potential at the seawater-hull interface and carefully adjust the output to the anodes. Therefore, the system is much more effective and reliable than sacrificial anode systems, where the level of protection is unknown and uncontrollable.
By installing an ICCP system, operators can make significant cost savings in hull maintenance and achieve reductions in fuel costs by having a smooth hull surface. Furthermore, the system will safeguard the owner’s investment and ensure greater safety through stronger hull integrity.