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Comment Water Treatment

This new pump system improves efficiency for desalination operations

By Scott Jenkins |

A new hydraulically driven, positive-displacement-pump system can lower the energy requirements for pumping water by 10% in large seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) desalination plants, where electricity typically represents the largest cost. Recently launched by GE Water & Power (www.ge-energy.com) at the 2012 International Water Week in Singapore, the IPER (integrated pump and energy recovery) system is designed for plants with greater than 1,000-m3/d capacity, where crank-driven positive displacement pumps are not practical because the crankshaft lengths become prohibitively large. Improvements to the conventional centrifugal pumps used for higher capacity SWRO plants have been able to deliver only incremental energy savings. In the IPER system (diagram), the crankshaft is eliminated, and the piston is instead moved by a unique hydraulic-drive system that powers three double-acting pistons at much slower cycle speeds than traditional positive displacement pumps. The system consists of a hydraulic-pump-drive unit, a water-displacement cylinder, and a sophisticated control unit. GE Water & Power has installed the system in a GE owned-and-operated facility in the Caribbean, and is in discussions regarding future installations.…
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