WaterBriefs: GE, Texas Tech University partner on renewable powered water purification

Also in this report: Scottsdale's Chaparral WTP earns awards; Flexpoint, Precision Pumping ally on flowmeter; Pennichuck expands in Raymond, NH; AMCON sells Hawaiian Natural Water; OPS Systems gains president; Dallas picks SAP, Axon for enterprise system; Halliburton wins $73M Pemex contract; AmWater wins 500,000th customer; Greens sue Bush on global warming; KSB Group gets pump contract for power-seawater desalination plant; Liquid Dynamics patent suit win upheld against Vaughan Pump...

In other news below:
-- Scottsdale's Chaparral Water Treatment Plant earns two awards for excellence
-- Flexpoint enters joint development agreement with Precision Pumping Inc.
-- Pennichuck expands in Raymond, NH
-- AMCON announces sale of Hawaiian Natural Water Company Inc.
-- OPS Systems names new president
-- Dallas picks SAP, Axon Solutions for citywide enterprise billing, customer system
-- Halliburton awarded $73 million contract to provide stimulation vessel, services to Pemex
-- American Water announces 500,000th customer contract
-- Pittcon announces Invited Symposia for 2007
-- Globally renowned case studies unveiled at Aquaterra 2007
-- Greens sue White House over missing global warming assessment
-- Major pump contract for power plant with seawater desalination awarded to KSB Group
-- Supreme Court rules in favor of Liquid Dynamics in patent suit against Vaughan Pump

GE, Texas Tech University partner to develop renewable powered water purification

GE Global Research program focused on demonstrating a wind-powered water purification system that could lead to more affordable, clean water solutions.

NISKAYUNA, NY, Nov. 28, 2006 -- GE Global Research, the centralized research organization of the General Electric Company, today announced it is partnering with Texas Tech University to develop affordable water desalination systems to increase the quantity and quality of clean water available in arid areas around the United States and globally.

The GE-Texas Tech partnership will focus on the integration of renewable energy systems, such as wind turbines, with membrane desalination processes. The development of the integrated renewable energy-water system has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of creating new sources of freshwater from impaired resources, such as brackish water, by directly addressing the major component of operating cost of desalination systems – energy.

The partnership is part of GE's company-wide ecomagination initiative, in which the company is working closely with its customer and other key partners to aggressively drive and bring to market new technologies that address pressing environmental challenges and growing water scarcity concerns. Under the initiative, GE has pledged to more than double its level of investment in the development of cleaner energy technologies, from $700 million to $1.5 billion over the next five years.

Dr. Minesh Shah, project leader, GE Global Research said, "Up to fifty percent of the operating costs of desalination is derived from energy consumption. With the potential for large variability in energy costs due to fuel price volatility, desalination systems can have significant operational costs. The integration of wind energy provides an opportunity to mitigate this variability and allow for a lower cost desalination system."

"Developing cost effective technologies that address improving water quality and availability are of critical importance to many water stressed areas in this region," said Dr. Dean Smith, Vice President for Research at TTU. "We are pleased to partner with the GE Global Research Center to work together on this problem of both regional and world-wide importance."

The focus of the research partnership will be the integrated control and optimization of the two systems to improve operations, reduce capital cost and reduce energy consumption. This would help to improve the commercialization of a renewable energy-water system. The program also aims to develop a commercial scale demonstration within the next several years.

Texas Tech University is a comprehensive research institution of higher education located in Lubbock, Texas, in the southern Great Plains of the United States. The university's researchers with the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center and the Water Resources Center have worked for decades to address wind and water research. With its goal of leading efforts to address wind power systems research and water resource issues, researchers and facility infrastructure at Texas Tech make it a world-recognized research center for wind-water integration and applications.

GE Global Research (www.ge.com/research) was the first industrial research lab in the United States and is one of the world's most diversified research centers, providing innovative technology for all of GE's businesses. Global Research has been the cornerstone of GE technology for more than 100 years, developing breakthrough innovations in areas such as medical imaging, energy generation, jet engines, advanced materials and lighting. GE Global Research is headquartered in Niskayuna, New York and has facilities in Bangalore, India; Shanghai, China; and Munich, Germany.

Also see:
-- "Algerian Power Plant To Feature GE's Latest F-Class Technology"
-- "GE To Provide One Lms100 Gas Turbine For Alberta, Canada Generating Station"
-- "GE Energy To Supply Lm6000-PD Sprint Aeroderivative Gas Turbines To Power Plant In The Netherlands"
-- "GE Energy Performs First-Of-A-Kind Gas Turbine Conversion For City Of Medicine HAT, Canada"
-- "First GE Frame 7H Gas Turbine Now Being Installed In California"
-- "GE Fanuc Embedded Systems Completes Acquisition of Radstone Technology PLC"

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Among other recent headlines:

Scottsdale's Chaparral Water Treatment Plant earns two awards for excellence -- Black & Veatch-designed facility receives regional recognition -- SCOTTSDALE, AZ, Nov. 28, 2006 -- With related site work still under construction, Scottsdale's new Chaparral Water Treatment Plant (WTP) has already earned two significant awards. The 30-million-gallon-per-day facility, which began producing potable water in March 2006, recently received two local awards: an Art in Public Places Award of Merit from the Valley Forward Association and a Grand Award in Engineering Excellence from the Arizona chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). Black & Veatch provided site selection, pilot testing, design and construction-related services for the new facility, which uses direct microfiltration for advanced treatment of surface water. The company worked closely with architectural sub-consultant Swaback Partners to ensure that the plant, situated in Chaparral Park and surrounded by residential neighborhoods, would be a welcome addition to the community. According to Scottsdale Water Resources General Manager David Mansfield, the finished water from Chaparral surpasses the city's water quality goals, including particulate and arsenic removal and odor and taste control...

Flexpoint enters joint development agreement with Precision Pumping Inc. -- DRAPER, UT, Nov. 28, 2006 -- Flexpoint Sensor Systems Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement with Precision Pumping Systems Inc., a full service pumping systems integrator, to jointly develop, certify and market a flow meter featuring their Bend Sensor® technology. The joint agreement will combine Precision Pumping's industry experience as a full-service pump systems integrator and distributor of pumps, flow meters, and instrumentation products since 1996 with Flexpoint's cutting edge patented technology to further develop and market a flow meter. The two companies have completed extensive development over the past few months and reached a point where both companies are committed to bring the technology to market...

Pennichuck expands in Raymond, NH -- MERRIMACK, NH, Nov. 28, 2006 -- Pennichuck East Utility, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pennichuck Corp., recently completed the acquisition of the community water system serving the Clearwater Estates condominium community in Raymond, NH. The Clearwater system serves approximately 200 customers bringing Pennichuck's total customer base in Raymond to nearly 1,000. The water system and housing project were originally constructed by Firelake Corp. of Raymond. The Clearwater community system has an excellent source of supply and Fire Lake built a state-of-the-art pumping station...

AMCON announces sale of Hawaiian Natural Water Company Inc. -- CHICAGO, Nov. 28, 2006 -- AMCON Distributing Company, an Omaha, NE-based consumer products company is pleased to announce that it has sold substantially all of the assets of Hawaiian Natural Water Company Inc. to a newly formed investor group, Hawaiian Springs LLC. The purchase price for the assets was $3.8 million in cash; in addition Hawaiian Springs, LLC assumed operating and capital leases...
Also see: "AMCON Appoints New Chief Executive Officer"

OPS Systems names new president -- RIO RANCHO, NM, Nov. 27, 2006 -- Scott Dorner has been appointed president of OPS Systems Inc. Jan Bob also was promoted to vice president of technology. John Dorner remains CEO. The company, which specializes in operations, lab and maintenance software serving the water and wastewater industry, is a split-off of Dorner Products and is based in Rio Rancho, NM, near Albuquerque...

Dallas picks SAP, Axon Solutions for citywide enterprise billing, customer system -- Top municipal water utility partners with market leading implementer -- JERSEY CITY, NJ, Nov. 27, 2006 -- Axon Solutions Inc. announced that the City of Dallas, the 9th largest city in the United States, has selected Axon Solutions to implement SAP's IS-U Customer Care and Service solution. The Axon led implementation will replace Dallas Water Utilities' 20 year old legacy CIS system and provide the foundation for PAY1 -- a citywide initiative to consolidate billing services across all departments. The city will leverage SAP® for Utilities solution portfolio to help transform its entire customer interaction experience with specific goals of enhancing the quality of customer service and improving the effectiveness of revenue management and reporting. It will begin its SAP implementation later this month and expects to finish the project by the end of 2007. The project will provide customer information and world-class billing processes for approximately 380,000 customers representing more than 1.2 million people in the greater Dallas Metro area as well as wholesale water and wastewater services to over 20 neighboring cities...
Also see: "Axon acquires a leading SAP HR Consultancy in the U.S."

Halliburton awarded $73 million contract to provide stimulation vessel, services to Pemex -- HOUSTON, Nov. 28, 2006 – Halliburton's Production Optimization division has been awarded a contract valued at $73 million by Pemex to provide stimulation services in the Bay of Campeche, Mexico. The stimulation services to be supplied by Halliburton are acidizing, acid fracturing, water control and nitrogen services. The work will be performed from the newly outfitted HOS Saylor stimulation vessel, which will join Halliburton's Cape Hawke stimulation vessel in providing services to Pemex. The HOS Saylor stimulation vessel will efficiently support all phases of stimulation via systems that include blending, pumping and storage. In addition, it will have the capacity to transport more than 30,000 gallons of acid, 40,000 gallons of solvent, 30,000 gallons of liquid nitrogen and 12,500 gallons of additives at a time. Total hydraulic horsepower available for treating is approximately 6,700 with maximum treating pressure of 15,000 pounds per square inch. These capabilities support a range of services from smaller treatments to large cleanout and fracturing operations. The services are scheduled to commence in July 2007 and last two and one-half years...
Also see: "KBR Inc. Closes Initial Public Offering"

American Water announces 500,000th customer contract -- Company experiences landmark success with service line protection programs -- VOORHEES, NJ, Nov. 27, 2006 -- American Water, the largest water services provider in North America, announced today it has signed its 500,000th service line protection program customer contract. Managed by the company's Homeowner Services Group, American Water's full array of service line protection programs include a Water Line Protection Program (WLPP), Sewer Line Protection Program (SLPP) and In-Home Plumbing Emergency Protection Program (IHPP)...

Pittcon announces Invited Symposia for 2007 -- More than 50 sessions in a broad range of topics presented by leading researchers -- PITTSBURGH, PA, Nov. 27, 2006 -- The Pittsburgh Conference announces the topics of the Invited Symposia to be presented at Pittcon® 2007, Feb. 25-March 2, 2007, McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. World-renown experts will present cutting-edge development of instrumentation for chemical analysis and applications to solve key scientific, industrial, and societal problems. Descriptions of all symposia are available at www.pittcon.org. Highlights include:
-- "Molecular Beacons: Ten Years Later"
-- "Tropical Disease Detection: Analytical Chemistry for the Developing World"
-- "Novel Biospectroscopy for Amyloid Diseases"
-- "Nanobiotechnology: From the Single Cell to the Single Molecule"
-- "The Science of Global Climate Change"
-- "Detection of Terrorist Weapons: Chemical Weapons"...

Globally renowned case studies unveiled at Aquaterra 2007 -- AMSTERDAM, Nov. 24, 2006 -- Aquaterra 2007, the world forum on delta and coastal development, will feature case studies on some of the world's most renowned projects. The programme is focused on managing risks and creating opportunities at all levels, from economic and financial issues to safety and planning matters. Aquaterra 2007 will also serve as a platform for keynote speeches and informative technical sessions all backed up by an exhibition. The event will take place from Feb. 7-9, 2007, at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition & Congress Centre. The expectations for Aquaterra 2007 are high and attendees will be presented with a great deal of information and industry news. The international forum includes case studies on Shanghai, the Dutch Delta, Dubai, Singapore, the Dutch 'Room for rivers' project and the innovative California Bay Delta Project...

Greens sue White House over missing global warming assessment -- SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 22, 2006 -- The environmental community is stepping up pressure on the White House to acknowledge and take action to counter global warming. A trio of environmental groups filed suit against the Bush Administration in federal court last week for failing to produce a required report on the impact of warming on the nation's environment, economy and public health. The Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace teamed up to file the suit, claiming the federal government is obliged to complete such a report every four years under the terms of Global Chance Research Act of 1990. Environmentalists maintain that the Bush administration purposefully ignored its mandate to produce the report, which should have been completed in November 2004, because of its reticence to show the latest scientific evidence justifying federal action on preventing global warming...

Major pump contract for power plant with seawater desalination awarded to KSB Group -- FRANKENTHAL, Germany Nov. 20, 2006 -- The KSB Group will supply a total of 43 pumps for the "Huaneng Yingkou Power Station" expansion project in the People's Republic of China. Located at the Gulf of Liaodong in the province of Liaoning, the Huaneng Yingkou power plant is part of a special economic development zone. It is the first so-called "supercritical power station" in China providing a generation capacity of 600 MW. This particular type of power plant is capable of achieving the maximum efficiency currently possible. The order amounting to several million Euros includes the supply of power station pumps and a number of specially designed corrosion-resistant pumps. These are destined for use in the seawater desalination plant which is currently under construction and set to produce the fresh water needed for the power plant's circuits. Reverse osmosis is the method applied in this new desalination plant. In this physical separation process high-pressure pumps generate a pressure in excess of the "osmotic pressure" and pump the seawater along a membrane. While part of the water penetrates the membrane and is removed downstream as desalinated water, the salt remains in the fluid upstream of the membrane. Pressures ranging from 60 to 90 bar are required to desalinate seawater when applying this method...
Also see: "10 pumps ordered for Japanese liquefied gas caverns: Half for removing seawater seepage"

Supreme Court affirms judgment in favor of Liquid Dynamics in patent suit against Vaughan Pump -- Additional infringement claims asserted -- ST. CHARLES, IL, Nov. 22, 2006 -- Liquid Dynamics Corp., of St. Charles, IL, announced that on Nov. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeal of Vaughan Company Inc., from a multi-million dollar patent infringement verdict entered in favor of Liquid Dynamics in November 2004, following a jury trial in Chicago. Mark Crump, president of Liquid Dynamics, is the inventor of U.S. Patent No. 5,458,414, covering a proprietary design for mixing systems marketed by Liquid Dynamics under the JetMix® trade name. The system is commonly used in large circular tanks ranging in size from 20,000 gallons to 3 million gallons or more. The patent covers arrangements of jet nozzles which create a unique, substantially helical, volume filling flow in large tanks containing liquids and slurries, resulting in major improvements in process efficiency and reduction in operating costs. The system has broad application in municipal water and wastewater treatment as well as in industries such as pulp and paper, power generation, petrochemical and many others...

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