GE’s offline water-testing system is part of a suite of technologies for automating and controlling industrial cooling water applications.

Technology from GE, Trevose, Pa., gives users a way to optimize productivity and increase water savings in the monitoring and control of cooling water systems. The platform, called TrueSense, is intended for heavy manufacturing industries and large facilities in which water is used to cool production equipment and for air conditioning.

According to GE, the technology’s automation and knowledge-management capabilities allow end users to focus on critical processes that are core to their business rather than managing the cooling system. It integrates three functions into one platform:
  • Direct online monitoring of critical water chemistries.
  • Instrumentation that cuts offline testing time.
  • Data analysis and display capabilities that provide insight into system status.
Cooling water systems are essential to production in many industrial plants. Corrosion, deposition and microbiological fouling must be kept at bay to avoid equipment damage and system inefficiencies. In addition, microbiological growth that is not tightly controlled can result in increased personnel exposure to health risks such as Legionnaires’ disease.

“Maintaining cooling system efficiency to manage costs and minimize our water footprint is a critical aspect of our operation,” says Terry Black, the water treatment supervisor at NMLK Indiana, a Portage, Ind.-based steel mini-mill specializing in the production of hot rolled coils. “With TrueSense, we now have seen the impact of a much more precise and timely understanding of our water chemistry. This information has enabled us to optimize the amount of chemicals and water that we use and gives us the ability to operate the system more efficiently, leading to cost savings and less water used.”

Decisions about how to operate a cooling system from a water treatment perspective impact total operational costs related to fresh water consumption, energy consumption, cooling tower treatment chemicals and wastewater discharge. Optimization of a cooling system using TrueSense can yield an estimated total operating costs savings of 25 percent or more when enabled with the right treatment chemistry, GE says. In a moderately sized industrial cooling tower, a system running under optimal conditions could save nearly $400,000 annually in fresh water acquisition costs alone, according to the company.