GE (NYSE: GE) Water Treatment Technology

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted October 19, 2012

Industry cooling water is serious business. The specifications are stringent, and Nestlé USA’s Pizza Division facility in Little Chute, Wisconsin faces the additional obstacle of hard and alkaline local water.

For such cases, the normal rules don’t apply; standard processes simply don’t do enough. Increasing the concentration of chemicals causes scaling of the hard water within the cooling towers, thus lowering efficiency and requiring extra maintenance work.

Add to that the fact that the factory relied on an outdated control system that made precise and consistent adjustments difficult, not to mention that the system couldn’t integrate with the plant’s newer data systems.

So the factory opted for General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) GenGard water treatment solution for all four main ammonia condensers. The system has stress tolerant polymer and advanced TrueSense control systems.

Working together, these products allow for highly precise control of cooling water and allow for more cycles when chemical concentrations are high.

Little Chute gets to save almost 7.4 million gallons of water with the system, and it lowers sewer discharges by that much, too. In short, the facility can save $50,000 in terms of water purchase and discharge costs.

From GE’s press release:

“One of our sustainability goals here at Nestlé is to continuously improve water efficiency across our operations and reduce water withdrawals,” said Louis Miller, utilities supervisor at Nestlé Pizza Division Little Chute. “Improving the efficiency of the cooling towers is a big step towards achieving that goal.”

The radical improvements at the facility won it GE’s Return on Environment Award, which is granted to companies for achieving industrial demands while exceeding environmental and operational standards.

GE Power and Water is involved in power generation, energy delivery, and water processing technologies. The division works broadly in the energy industry with a focus on environmental sustainability.

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