Energy Recovery

Our Technology

A watermaker or desalinator is a device used to obtain potable, drinkable water by reverse osmosis of seawater or brackish water. Reverse osmosis can be an energy-intensive process, that’s why we use an energy recovery pressure amplifier, making it possible to run your watermaker from a solar array, wind turbine, or battery bank. This pump lowers the amount of energy consumed by as much as 75% over conventional systems. 

How it works:

Conventional Watermakers

In a conventional watermaker, a high pressure pump similar to a pressure washer boosts the incoming raw water pressure up to 800-1000 PSI (55 - 69 Bar). Large pumps use brute force to hammer seawater against a back-pressure valve in order to generate this pressure. Only a small percentage of the water pumped through a watermaker passes through the membranes and comes out as fresh drinking water. The result is that a significant amount of energy is wasted pumping the entire quantity of raw water to such a high pressure.

Energy Recovery Watermakers

When seawater exits the membranes in a watermaker, that water is still under pressure, up to 1000 PSI (69 Bar). An energy recovery device transfers the energy normally wasted in conventional systems at the membrane exit, and passes it to the incoming raw water, dramatically lowering the power required to operate the system. All Spectra Watermakers use a similar energy recovery technology; the high pressure waste stream from the membranes is channeled to the underside of the pump piston, allowing them to recover 90% of the available energy or more. All Spectra Watermakers adjust automatically (as part of the hydraulic design) to changes in water temperature and salinity, so there is no need to make adjustments in different climates, bays, rivers, or oceans.