November 28, 2006
GE Global Research, Texas Tech University Partner to Develop and Demonstrate Renewable Powered Water Purification
Program focused on demonstrating a wind-powered water purification system that could lead to more affordable, clean water solutions
NISKAYUNA, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GE Global Research, the centralized research organization of the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), 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.
About Texas Tech
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.
About GE Global Research
GE Global 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. Visit GE Global Research at www.ge.com/research.
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