With IPER, GE is offering a new positive displacement pump system that will significantly lower energy requirements for large desalination plants.

“IPER is designed to offer customers reliable uptime for their packaged desalination water treatment plants while reducing their energy costs in a significant and quantifiable way,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO — water and process technologies for GE Power & Water. “IPER represents a major economic and technical breakthrough that is poised to help desalination operators play an even greater role in addressing the world’s mounting water scarcity problems.”

Lower-capacity desalination plants have often utilized PD pumps because of their high efficiency and availability. These small but efficient pumps are based on the use of a fixed geometry and either rotating axial pistons or crank-driven pistons to pressurize water in the chambers. As the size and pumping capacity of these chambers increase, these smaller PD pumps face mechanical challenges. As a result, previous larger PD pumps have either featured a larger crankshaft or high crankshaft speeds to overcome these mechanical challenges. But due to the larger size and operating speeds, these solutions have led to significant vibration and maintenance issues.

IPER solves these problems by eliminating the crankshaft and replacing it with a unique hydraulic drive system for both functions. This hydraulic drive powers three double acting pistons in the water displacement unit and does this at very slow cycle speeds as compared to traditional PD pumps.