Aim is to lower industry standard of energy requirement for desalination
Desalination has traditionally been viewed as a reliable though costly means to produce fresh water in water scarce regions. As such, Aquatech has partnered Pani Energy, an artificial intelligence (AI) analytics solution provider for water applications, to reduce the energy and cost associated with desalination, thereby encouraging further adoption of desalination solutions and addressing water security issues.
The partnership aims to augment the former’s LoWatt membrane desalination process with the latter’s AI platform to reduce the energy required for desalination to levels that have not been achievable using existing approaches.
LoWatt is a low-energy desalination process that integrates pretreatment, optimised reverse osmosis design, and a cleaning mechanism to deliver energy consumption of reserve osmosis-based desalination. Moreover, LoWatt offers advantages like higher reliability and better plant uptime, thus reducing the overall cost of desalination, Aquatech claimed. The integration of Pani’s software solution will help Aquatech further lower the energy consumption, and establish a new industry standard of 2.7kWh per cubic meter. Enabling this lower energy consumption is expected to increase adoption of desalination in water scarce regions.
Desalination plays a critical part of addressing water security issues. Over 20,000 desalination facilities worldwide treat over 99 million cubic meter of water per day, Aquatech added, providing water for more than 300 million people globally.
While many more water scarce regions stand to benefit from desalination technologies, high energy requirements and costs have limited adoption, as energy alone can account for more than 50% of a desalination plant’s operating cost. AI technologies such as Pani’s AI Coach is said to bring greater efficiencies to current technologies, making desalination an affordable and robust option to meet the fresh water needs of many water scarce regions around the globe.
Devesh Bharadwaj, CEO for Pani, said: “By leveraging existing data, systems and people paired with machine learning techniques, current desalination technologies can be lifted to new standards of efficiency – making water less expensive to produce and delivering affordable, climate resilient water to people and communities in water-stressed regions.”
Ravi Chidambaran, COO at Aquatech, added: “With process design combined with advanced machine learning, Aquatech can provide a solution that meets treatment goals while minimising energy consumption and O&M requirements in real-time. Aquatech welcomes Pani as our official digital partner for LoWatt. This partnership enables us to better serve our customers and address the biggest pain points of desalination – energy consumption and biofouling.”