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System integration projects

The importance of water cannot be underestimated. To obtain water of the quality required for human consumption or industrial use usually requires some level of treatment to remove impurities.


Water treatment plant

A typical water treatment is a multi-step process and the underperformance of any single step impacts the performance and operability of all subsequent ones; Upstream performance failures cause fouling of downstream operations, impact capacity and increase cost through more frequent cleaning and downtime. The benefits of effective performance monitoring of each step of the cleaning and filtering process are therefore significant. The need for such measures have long been recognized, but their capability has been limited by the available sensing technology which has meant that only gross underperformance has been detectable automatically – and by the time that happens the overall performance of the purification plant has already been negatively impacted.

This proposal is to develop a novel sensing approach, which can detect a particular, and significant, class of underperformance at a much earlier stage than has hitherto been possible. This early detection allows simpler and cheaper remediation to be put in place thus improving overall purification plant economics. The technique proposed has extremely wide potential applicability, but within this document it is targeted to one initial use case in order to prove its operation. Mitigation of the identified problem represents around 30% of the total operational cost of a typical plant, and cost savings in the order of 20%-30% of this amount are forecast.