New System Offers Improved Cooling Water System Measurement, Control

Aug. 3, 2010
TREVOSE, PA, Aug. 3, 2010 -- GE has introduced a technology platform called TrueSense™ that is designed to optimize productivity and increase water savings in the monitoring and control of cooling water systems...
TREVOSE, PA, Aug. 3, 2010 -- GE has introduced a technology platform called TrueSense™ that is designed to optimize productivity and increase water savings in the monitoring and control of cooling water systems.

The system integrates three new functionalities into one platform: direct online monitoring of critical water chemistries; personal instrumentation that cuts offline testing time; and a data analysis and display capability that provides insight into system status.

The system is a result of GE’s focus on developing solutions to address water management challenges even in the toughest operating conditions.

Cooling water systems are essential to production in many industrial plants and for comfort cooling in commercial and institutional facilities. Corrosion, deposition and microbiological fouling must be kept at bay to avoid damage to equipment and system inefficiencies, which can result in losses in production and/or excessive water and energy consumption. In addition, microbiological growth that is not tightly controlled can result in increased employee and community exposure to health risks such as Legionnaires’ disease.

“Maintaining cooling system efficiency to manage costs and minimize our water footprint is a critical aspect of our operation,” said Terry Black, water treatment supervisor at NMLK Indiana, a Portage, Ind.-based steel mini-mill specializing in the production of hot rolled coils. “With TrueSense, we now have seen the impact of a much more precise and timely understanding of our water chemistry. This information has enabled us to optimize the amount of chemicals and water that we use and gives us the ability to operate the system more efficiently, leading to cost savings and less water used.”

Decisions about how to operate a cooling system from a water treatment perspective impact total operational costs related to fresh water consumption, energy consumption, cooling tower treatment chemicals and wastewater discharge. Optimization of a cooling system using TrueSense can yield an estimated total operating costs savings of 25 percent or more when enabled with the right treatment chemistry. In a moderately sized industrial cooling tower, a system running under optimal conditions could save nearly $400,000 per year in fresh water acquisition costs alone.

The GE system is the result of simultaneous technical advances in the measurement and control of critical cooling system parameters, in both online and offline modes of operation.

A core element of the platform isTrueSense Online for Cooling, a single unified online technology that can directly measure and monitor multiple core chemistries used in cooling water treatment such as orthophosphate for corrosion control; proprietary polymers for deposit control; and the management of halogens like chlorine or bromine for microbiological control. The online system provides a better understanding of cooling system status, enabling users to tighten control parameters to avoid or better respond to system variation and upsets, reduce water use and costs and to lower total cost of operation.

TrueSense PWA is a digital field-deployable, personal water sampling system that complements GE’s online offering. It measures multiple critical parameters with a single 3 ml water sample, accomplishing this in minutes versus the half-hour that offline testing protocols typically require. PWA minimizes the need to maintain an inventory of reagent chemicals and equipment for testing and can cuts testing costs.

The final element of the platform is TrueSense View, a knowledge-management solution for system visualization, analysis, alarming and reporting. It provides plant personnel with information in terms of content, frequency and form, with the flexibility to have data stored either locally and/or on the Web. In addition, wireless features minimize deployment time and cost.

The TrueSense platform is designed to work in conjunction with GE’s most advanced cooling chemistry, GenGard with Stress Tolerant Polymer. While the platform is designed to be an integrated tool set, all components can perform separately as needed, maximizing the efficiency of existing systems. These technologies will be available in major markets around the world.

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