Water and energy use are two of the most pressing environmental issues; why not tackle them at the same time? GE and the Environmental Protection Agency have teamed up to do just that with a research and development agreement that will focus on developing software that streamlines clean water distribution while using 10% to 15% less energy than traditional water systems.
In a statement, Alan Hinchman, Global Industry Manager Water/Wastewater for GE Intelligent Platforms, explains:
With this agreement, GE and the U.S. EPA will work with third parties to create a sensor-based, data-driven, and software-assisted system for drinking water distributions. The goal would be to optimize water quality improvement and minimize energy usage. By doing so, the product could assist water utilities and other end users with "greener" distribution network operations and enhanced regulatory compliance.
It would seem to be a nebulous goal if GE didn't have plenty of requirements for its "cost effective commercially viable solution for predictive real-time energy and quality monitoring/control platform in municipal drinking water distribution." It has to feature an open communication architecture with high bandwidth, have the ability to scale, and keep track of both energy use and water quality. And the billions of dollars that GE recently injected into its Ecomagination initiative might help things along.
Still, no word on when such a system might be ready for commercialization.