In almost every technical case, or operational problem we get involved in we find that it first takes the construction of a chronological narrative to get an idea as to where the shoe sticks.
When we were asked to look at OWS effectiveness by NFWF, one of the tasks we proposed was the construction of a chronology. Instead of a narrative, we decided to make a documentary chronology with comments about the documents as we progressed that is now being posted on the MAX1studies website.
This chronology is starting to provide some interesting insights. It shows how much progress has been made, it shows unresolved problems, it shows new avenues of investigations, and it also shows technical and operational dead ends.
One interesting insight relates to OCMs. Nobody really looked at how accurate OCMs really are aboard ships until, in 2013, the EPA performed a study where they compared a few actual shipboard OCM readings to the various ways of measuring oil in water of the samples that had been measured by the OCM. Strangely, it indicated that OCMs can have false positives and false negatives even if the OCMs are properly calibrated, and even if there are no emulsions.
This almost off-hand comment opens a whole new area of thinking. When we go back and make note of vessel crews struggling with OWS that mysteriously fail to operate, as far as the crew is concerned, the failure is indicated by the OCM alarming. The crew will see the OCM alarm, verify that the OCM calibration is good and then start to take the OWS apart in the hope that OWS servicing will remove the problem. However, if the OCM is not totally consistent in oil content analysis, the problem is the OCM, and no matter how much the crew services the OWS the problem can reoccur at any time.
In September 2006 this problem was mentioned by an OCM supplier and they suggested a different type of OCM, but there was little further development in this regard, and it appears a possible solution was lost in the fog of time.
We continue to build the chronology and if you note there are pieces missing we look forward to hearing from you.
To join in on this project or to simply stay up to date with new findings go to: http://www.max1studies.org/get-involved.html