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VARI-ROTM Desalting Pilot Plant Advancement Project Testing and Evaluation

Science Applications International Corporation; San Diego CA.
May 2001

Report #62 - Abstract -

This pilot-plant project was directed toward combining the VARI-RO Direct Drive Engine (VRO-DDE) technology with the highly efficient VARI-RO Integrated Pumping and Energy Recovery (VRO-IPER) system for RO desalting. The engine technology provides the capability to use direct thermal power to replace more expensive electric power. The ways that the VRO-DDE technology reduces desalting cost and energy impact include the following:

  • 1) use of RO, the most energy efficient desalination process;
  • 2) use of efficient positive displacement pumping and energy recovery;
  • 3) use of thermal energy sources that are lower cost than electricity; and
  • 4) the low emissions use of these lower-cost thermal energy sources.

    This patented technology will make desalination a reliable, cost effective method to augment natural water sources, and help mitigate water shortages in many locations in the U.S. and other regions of the world.

    This technology advancement has resulted from the innovative cross-fertilization of the following technologies: modern hydraulic power transmission, computer control, desalting processes, and recuperative Brayton cycle thermal energy conversion.


    For more information about the DWPR program, contact Kevin Price at: Bureau of Reclamation, 86-69000, PO Box 25007, Denver CO 80225; phone (303) 445-2260; or e-mail a message to MPrice@usbr.gov.