Action 04: Operation and optimization of the pilot scale innovative energy– autonomous brine treatment system

Duration: 01/11/2012 – 31/10/2013 (12 months)

Status: Completed

Action 4 was carried out in three activities:

Activity 4(a): Operation of the innovative energy–sufficient brine treatment system

At the first stages of the implementation of Action 4 and within the context of Activity 4(a), the start-up operation of the prototype system was performed. For the start-up operation of the system two trips to Tinos island were performed by the NTUA team, for the integration and the testing of system components. The first normal operation of the system was achieved on 27.12.2012 and then the NTUA team conducted an operation and sampling plan, in order to ensure that the system is monitored in regular intervals and under different climatic conditions. This plan involved the operation of the system with less than 1.5 month intervals. For this to be achieved, the working team of CUL-EL and NTUA performed trips to Tinos Island for the operation of the system and the collection and transportation of the samples to the laboratories of NTUA (Unit of Environmental Science and Technology). The samples were collected according to the guidelines provided by the NTUA team (acidification with nitric solution of liquid samples, sample containers, sampling equipment etc.) so as to eliminate contamination of the sample during sampling, handling and transporting to the UEST laboratory. Upon reception to the laboratory, the samples were analyzed according to the experimental protocol for determining the values of the desired analytes. These analyses included a variety of laboratory equipment such as Inductively Coupled Plasma - Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES), Inductively Coupled Plasma - Mass Spectroscopy (ICP-MS), Atomic Absorption Spectrometer (GF-AAS), photometer, X-ray diffractometer, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) so as to obtain the required information both for the solid and liquid samples. It is noted that more than 48 samples were analyzed. This operation and the laboratory analyses conducted, are presented in Deliverable 4.2,while photos from the system in full operation are presented in Deliverable 4.3.

Activity 4(b): Optimization of the prototype pilot brine treatment system’s performance

Activity 4(b) involved the optimization of the brine treatment process. The optimization process initiated when the first results from the system operation was available. From the beginning of implementing Action 4, it was realized that the pilot system could efficiently eliminate the brine effluent, as well as turn it into high purity products, namely distillate water (two qualities were achieved, 10 and 60 ppm TDS) and dry salt. As a result, the optimization of the process, would involve modifications for the easiest control and monitoring of the pilot system. In particular, an operation software tool was installed to better monitor the operating parameters (such as temperatures, pressures etc.) as well as to facilitate its operation by no skilled personnel. The software tool involved a visualization interface which controlled in a very user-friendly manner the SCADA software installed. Finally, a modification of the original engineering drawings of the evaporator was made since it was initially designed with a single pass heat exchanger leading to low concentration levels. Therefore the project team decided to install a recirculation to the evaporator unit, that was controlled by a conductivity meter. The optimization of the pilot system is presented in Deliverable 4.2.

Activity 4(c): Preparation of operation and maintenance manual

With reference to the Activity 4(c), the preparation of the operation and maintenance manual was foreseen. The manual was prepared before the optimization process and was distributed during the first training seminar which took place on Tinos Island on 26.04.2013. However, it was updated after the optimization process, so as to include all the modifications performed to the pilot system. The final version was distributed again to the system operators during the third training seminar which took place in December 2013. The operation manual comprises Deliverable 4.1.