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8.

TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF DESALINATION PLANT


8.1 DESALINATION PLANT
Considering the probable small water availability from the public utilities network, it is
proposed to supply and install a desalination plant of 4.15m
3
/hr, hence 100m
3
/day nominal
capacity, to supply water to the resort. The desalination plant will not be operated on a
continuous basis because of its prohibitive operational cost but rather on an as-required
basis, to supplement the normal mains supply, and therefore to make-up for any water
needs in excess of public utility water availability.
8.2 REVERSE OSMOSIS PROCESS
Within the scope of the project, the promoter intends to install a Reverse Osmosis process
desalinator.
In the reverse osmosis process, water is made to pass from the more concentrated solution
to a less concentrated one, which is the reverse of the principle of osmosis. The force
necessary to accomplish this is the application of pressure greater than the osmotic
pressure of the saline solution.
If a saline solution is in contact with a semi-permeable membrane which is placed under
pressure being in excess of its osmotic pressure, water from the solution will flow through
the membrane. Water flow will continue till the pressure created by the osmotic head
equals the osmotic pressure of the salt solution.
Polyamide membranes have proved most successful to be used for this purpose.
Membranes are not perfectly semi-permeable as they allow certain quantities of ions to
cross through the membranes. The salt content in the water produced is dependent upon the
feed-water temperature, salinity, membrane porosity and system pressure. This plan has
been designed with each of these factors in mind, to assure the best possible quality
permeate while keeping consumption of power and chemicals to a minimum.
8.2.1 Advantages of Reverse Osmosis Process
The main attraction of the selected technology for this process is its low energy
consumption. The energy required for operating the process is dependent on several factors
as described above, as well as appropriate selection of pumps, motors, piping etc. The
technical difficulties include fabrication, degree of semi-permeability, fouling, membrane
supports and the recovery of energy.
8.3 COMPONENTS OF DESALINATION PLANT
The proposed desalination plant will have a nominal capacity of 100m
3
/day to cater for the
resorts daily domestic requirements and will include:
1 set of fine filters to remove fine solid particles which would otherwise damage
the membranes.
1 No reverse osmosis desalination plant model PVSECO100
1No high pressure pump
1 No energy recovery unit with associated booster pump and accessories
1 No desalinated water neutralisation filter (outside of RO container)
2No pressure vessels
1 set of chemical dosing units
1 CIP system
1No beach intake well
1No dilution well
1 No seawater buffer tank
1 No dilution tank
The plant room will be located within the desalination plant room area as shown on the
Massing Plan enclosed at Annex 4B at the end of Section 4.
The basic simplified flowchart of the desalination plant is shown below in Figure 8-1.
Figure 8-1: Basic Process Flow Diagram
8.3.1 Production Capacity of Desalination Plant
The plant will be rated to produce a treated water volume of the order of 100m
3
/day. This
production is roughly equivalent to 1day demand of the hotel.
The water produced will feed the 250m
3
underground service reservoir which will be
located towards the south western tip, underneath the roundabout feature.
Disinfection of the stored water will be given consideration as part of the pipework exiting
the tank. UV disinfection is a clean and safe alternative to chlorine, and is being explored.
The RO plant will be demand-based. The service reservoir will be fitted with float
switches. When the level in the service reservoir drops to a pre-determined level, the RO
unit will start automatically and begin producing potable water. It will keep running until
the reservoir upper level switch is reached, when it will automatically switch off again. The
tank will be equipped with an outlet valve and associated piping for draining and cleaning
the reservoir, as required.
8.4 SEAWATER QUALITY
2No seawater samples have been taken to investigate the physico-chemical qualities of the
water and at the same time serve at baseline data. The location at which samples have been
taken is shown on the Massing Plan enclosed at Annex 8A at the end of Section 8.
Pre-Treatment
Post-Treatment
Stabilized Water
By-product Brine
Saline Feed Water
High Pressure
Pump
Membrane
Assembly
The laboratory results are enclosed at Annex 8B at the end of this section.
However for ease of reference, the results have been reproduced at Table 8-1 below.
Table 8-1: Physic-Chemical Quality Testing Results
Parameters Sample No 1 Sample No 2
pH 8.2 8.2
Salinity 34.5ppt 34.1ppt
Total Suspended Solids <2.0mg/L <2.0mg/L
Total Dissolved Solids 26, 300mg/L 26, 000mg/L
Biochemical Oxygen Demand <0.5mg/L <0.5mg/L
Chemical Oxygen Demand <5mg/L <5mg/L
8.5 FEATURES OF DESALINATION PLANT
As already mentioned, the desalination plant will be of the reverse osmosis type and will
make use of latest technology.
The desalination plant will be made-up of high quality materials (such as high quality
stainless steel and glass reinforced plastics (GRP) impervious to corrosion). The model to
be installed at Saint Francois will be PVSECO100 manufactured by Mllsystem PVS of
Vienna, Austria.
At this point in the projects procurement cycle, it is envisaged that the supplier will be
PVS of Austria, an Austrian-based company with over 35 years experience in the design,
manufacture, production, installation and commissioning in water management in
numerous countries including Maldives, Oman, Qatar, New Caledonia, Romania, Crotia
etc. The firm specializes in high-tech solutions for tourist industry applications, and
produces ready-to-use Reverse Osmosis desalination plants.
Note: This proposal is only a tentative one at this early stage of the project procurement
cycle.
A typical desalination kit is shown in the photographs below.

Photograph 8-1: Ready-To-Use R.O Plant

Photograph 8-2: Typical Indoor RO Plant
The desalination plant system will be equipped with all the appropriate sensors and
security devices to stop the production of desalinated water in case of any failure; hence,
discharge to the tank will automatically stop if salinity level of the outgoing water was
sensed to be above maximum acceptable level.
To ensure removal of brine solution from membranes and also avoid any standstill
corrosion of piping material, high pressure pump and other components, a cleaning-in-
place system is integrated in RO-container and it will permit flushing with fresh water at
any plant stop.
In case of necessity of cleaning the membranes with chemicals, the respective solution is
prepared in the tank and re-circulated through the membranes to restore their desalination
capacity.
8.6 DESCRIPTION OF PREFILTRATION FILTER UNITS
The proposed prefiltration units will consist of two components:
(i) Fine filters, followed by
(ii) Absolute Filters
8.7 HIGH PRESSURE PUMP UNIT
The plant will be fitted with a highest-efficiency high-pressure pump unit operating in
parallel with a small booster pump. The high-pressure pump will be a piston-type positive
displacement unit to increase the pressure from approx. 3 to approx. 60 bars. The pump
will be made of homogenous materials to avoid galvanic corrosion, which would have
otherwise rendered it unsuitable for working with seawater. The head, the internal parts,
the valve sealing rings, plugs etc. of the pump being in contact with seawater will be made
of stainless steel. All wear surfaces are lubricated/cooled by the pump medium (water) thus
oil and grease are not required.
All the materials will be fully compatible to avoid any possibility of electrolysis effect
between the different components.
The high-pressure pump unit will have a working capacity of:
High pressure pumping rate.... 84.15m
3
/hour
Motor power duty point power consumption . 13.7 kW
Pump efficiency ............. 90%
8.8 REVERSE OSMOSIS MEMBRANE ASSEMBLY
The membrane assembly will be composed of a range of 12 spiral wound polyamide
elements contained inside of 2 pressure vessels rated to operate at a pressure of approx 69
bars, depending on the feed water analysis results (assuming 27
0
C and 34, 000 TDS). The
membrane assembly will be efficiently designed to provide the required flow rate at
optimal flow velocity through the membrane units for long lasting life expectancy. At such
an operating pressure and flow conditions, the yield will be almost immediate and pure
drinking water will be available after a few seconds only.
During normal operation, the membrane units will be working simultaneously but in case
of damage or failure of one unit, this broken membrane unit will be by-passed with the
plant continuing to operate safely with the remaining ones.
8.9 HIGH PRESSURE INSTRUMENTS
The following minimum control and safety instruments will be provided in association
with the high pressure aspect of the plant:
1No electrical contact pressure gauge to monitor membrane inlet pressure
1No pressure gauge to monitor membrane discharge pressure
Emergency pressure switch for membrane inlet pressure
Flow meter for control of pressure exchanger flow
1 No Air relief valve
1 No security valve for excess pressure

8.10 LOW PRESSURE INSTRUMENTS
The following minimum instruments and control components will be provided for
monitoring and controlling the lower pressure sections of the plant:
1 No pressure control and gauge (manometer) to monitor inlet pressure
1 No pH indicator prior to feed filters
1 Redox prior to fine filters
1 No pressure control to monitor high-pressure pump inlet
Pressure gauges on all fine filter housing
Pressure gauges to monitor brine outlet pressure
Conductivity meter of permeate
1 No level control in CIP tank
3 No dry-run protection for CIP tank and dosing tanks
Re-hardening station including media
Flow meter for monitoring outgoing permeate
pH meter for drinking water, following the neutralisation media
Conductivity meter for drinking water, following the neutralisation media
2 No pressure gauge to monitor feed into and out of neutralisation filter
SDI meter on inlet piping
8.11 ELECTRICAL PANEL
A control panel will be delivered with the plant so as to control and monitor all the
operating and security functions of the plant. The central switchboard is designed
according to IEC/VDE/OVE-standards and it includes:
PLC-system (programmable logic controller) for data processing
Process control system
Main interruptor
Central visual alarm
All necessary contactors, fuses, status lights/displays
A busbar for power cable connection
The alarm panel will be designed to indicate the following important parameters:
(i) Overload relay of pump motors
(ii) Mini/maxi abnormal pressure conditions
(iii) High salinity pre-alarm/pH/Redox
(iv) Operating hour recording

8.12 CLEANING IN PLACE UNIT
The CIP-system (cleaning-in-place) is integrated in the RO-container and permits
flushing with fresh water at any plant stop. This ensures removal of brine solution from the
membranes and also avoids any standstill corrosion of piping material, high pressure pump
and other components. In case of necessity of cleaning the membranes with chemicals, the
respective solution is prepared in this tank and re-circulated through the membranes to
restore their desalination capacity.
The cleaning in place unit will comprise of:
1No pump with 14m
3
/hr capacity, working at 5 bar pressure
1No 2,000 Litre plastic holding tank to contain water and chemical products for
membrane cleaning. A mixer is installed in the tank to optimally dilute and prepare
the solution prior to beginning the cleaning process.
8.13 SKID FRAME AND ASSEMBLY MATERIALS
The skid frame will be entirely made-up in high quality ST37 alloy, sand-blasted and
coated, suitable for working in saline environment.
Manifolds and clamps will all be in ST37 sand-blasted and coated for extended life span.
Screws, nuts, bolts and high pressure piping will be 1.4571 staninless steel. Connections
between stainless steel pipes and ST37 steel will feature galvanic insulated separators.
8.14 BEACH INTAKE BOREHOLE
The feeding seawater will be pumped from a beach intake borehole situated within the
hotel premises, at 36metres from the High Water Mark as shown on the Massing Plan
enclosed at Annex 8A at the end of Section 8. It should be highlighted that this is tentative
positioning of the desalination components which will have to be validated by the M&E
Engineer at design stage.
The borehole will be drilled to a depth of 20 metres and in 250 mm diameter. The borehole
will be lined with a PVC lining of diameter 200mm, which is wrapped with geotextile
membrane with an end cap at the bottom. The PVC lining will be plain from ground level
i.e. 0.0 8.0 metres and slotted from 8.0 20.0 metres.
After drilling, an air lift will be carried out during 1 hour in order to clean and develop the
borehole, following which a pumping test will be carried out for 6-8 hours, to determine
the maximum aquifer recharge rate and associated draw down. Finally, a physical and
chemical test of the seawater will be undertaken to determine the water quality during
pumping rate.
The borehole will be equipped with a submersible pump placed at a depth of
approximately 19.2 metres within the 20m deep borehole. The submersible pump will feed
the seawater storage tank via a 150mm HDPE pipeline connected to it.
Seawater will be pumped directly from the beach intake borehole at a rate of 10.4m
3
/hour
(i.e. 250m
3
/day) at 3 bar for the desalination process. A storage tank is not recommended,
in order to inhibit possible biological activity and water contamination.
The plan view and section of the proposed beach intake borehole is enclosed at Annex 8C
at the end of Section 8.
8.15 BRINE PRODUCTION
The output of the desalinator which can also referred to as the by-product or permeate of
the desalination plant process will be a concentrated salt solution having a salinity level of
67,000ppm. This concentrated brine solution which will be discharged from the
desalination plant at a rate of 4.15m
3
/hour (1.15litres/second) during the operation of the
plant will be pumped at the required pressure and flow rate to the dilution tank prior to
discharge back to the sea.
8.15.1 Brine Dilution Tank
Dilution and disposal through percolation occur in the dilution tank.
Prior to disposal of brine into the dilution tank, the brine of salinity level 67000ppm
coming from the desalination plant at a rate of 6.25m
3
/hour will be diluted in the same
dilution tank with seawater of nominal salinity level 34,000ppm being pumped from
dilution well at a rate of 33m
3
/hour.
Within the dilution tank, receiving 33m
3
/hour of seawater 34,000ppm from dilution tank,
the brine will be pre-diluted with the seawater to reach a plus 10% salinity level of
37,400ppm before percolating the sand matrix.
The brine returning to a final salinity of about 10% higher to the ambient salinity will no
longer be a threat to flora, fauna and human beings.
The typical features of the dilution tank are enclosed at Annex 8D at the end of this
section.
8.15.2 Brine Dilution Calculation
Prior to percolation of diluted brine into the dilution tank, the brine of salinity of level
67000ppm coming as effluent from the desalination plant at a rate of 4.15m
3
/hour will be
diluted in the dilution tank with seawater of salinity level 34,000ppm being pumped from
the dilution well or borehole at a rate of 33m
3
/hour.
The dilution tank has 2 entry points:
(i) Seawater at a flow rate of 33m
3
/hr, concentration 34,000ppm from dilution well
(ii) Brine at flow rate of 4.15m
3
/hr, concentration 67,000ppm from desalination plant
If the brine at a concentration of 67000ppm is discharged into the lagoon without any
induced dilution treatment, it will adversely affect the marine ecosystem i.e. the marine
flora and fauna. It is therefore imperative that the salinity of the brine should be reduced to
an acceptable level (not exceeding 37, 400ppm) i.e. 10% higher than ambient salinity prior
to discharge into the lagoon. This will be carried out by incorporating a dilution tank into
the design of the desalination plant system.
To ensure a half hour retention time, the dilution tank will have a volume of 20m
3
with the
following dimensions:
Length = 4 metres
Width = 3 metres
Depth = 2 metres

8.15.2.1 Computation of Required Flow Rate from Existing Dilution Well for Brine Dilution
Pumping rate of seawater for desalination 10.4m
3
/hr
Rate of production of desalinated water 4.15m
3
/hr
Hence rate of production of brine 6.25m
3
/hr
Salinity of feed seawater 34,000ppm
Salinity of outflow from dilution tank 37, 400
Salinity of brine from desalinator 67,000
Assume pumping rate from Dilution Well (DW) for dilution to be Vm
3
/hr

Salinity Mass Balance
(Vm
3
/hr x 34ppt) + (6.25m
3
/hr x 67ppt) = (V + 6.25)m
3
/hr x 37.4ppt
34V + 418.75 = 37.4V + 233.75
185 = 3.4V
54.4m
3
/hr = V
Inflow Rate of Seawater from Dilution well = 54.4m
3
/hr SAY 54m
3
/hr
8.15.3 Brine Disposal Site
After dilution and return of salinity to a 10% higher salinity level of 37, 400ppm, the brine
will be discharged/injected into the dilution well situated tentatively at 32metres from the
High Water Mark as shown on the Massing Plan enclosed at Annex 8A at the end of
Section 8.
The diluted brine will percolate the sandy matrix within the dilution tank.
The proposed method of disposal of the brine by-product of the desalination plant process
will ensure a controlled and/or constant release of the brine effluent to the sandy soil
through which it will percolate before reaching the lagoon. The depth of the well will be
fixed at about 2.0 metres below the existing ground level.
8.16 SUMMARY OF TECHNICAL FEATURES
The technical features of the desalination plant are summarized as below:
Feeding seawater temperature.............. 27
0
C
Feeding silt density index. Max. 3
Feeding seawater pH Approx.8.3
(V + 6.25) m
3
/hr
Diluted Brine
Required Salinity:
37.4ppt = 37400ppm
Brine 6.25m
3
/hr at 67ppt
Dilution Tank
34ppt Seawater
Dilution Well = Vm
3
/hr
Feeding seawater Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) 26,000 TDS
Percentage of permeate recovery 40%
Pumping rate seawater from beach intake borehole 1.04m
3
/hr, 2.5 5 bar
Hourly production of desalinated water.. 4.15m
3
/hr
Daily production of desalinated water. 100m
3
/hr
Expected salinity of desalinated water.. <500ppm (150-250ppm)
Rate of brine effluent discharge........ 6.25m
3
/hr
Expected brine salinity. 67,000ppm
Expected brine temperature.. Slightly higher than inlet
Expected brine pH 7
Power required 2.0-2.4kWh/m
3

Supply voltage. 400V/ 50Hz

Overall dimensions (metres) 9.0 x 1.2 x 2.2
Total Weight. 3,000kg
Expected salinity of final effluent
< 500ppm after post
treatment
8.17 DESALINATION PLANTROOM
The plant room will house the desalination plant components and the inter-connecting
pipeworks.
It will be provided with a sump from which any collected water on the floor will be
pumped out.
The various piping arrangements for the connection of the beach borehole to the
desalination unit will be designed by the project M&E Engineer during the Detailed
Design Stage, namely:
the seawater supply pipelines from the beach borehole
the pure water pipeline from the desalinator to the existing potable water tank
the CIP system pipework
support plinths (concrete) for RO container.
The plant room will house and enclose the desalination equipment, the sand filters and the
chlorine tank and dosing pump. It will be 18 metres long and 5 metres wide (area 90m
2
),
and will be constructed out of block work and concrete roof slab. The neutralisation filter
will be outside of the main RO skid.
8.18 CLEANING PROCESSES
Flushing will take place using clean water at each stop of the RO, using the permeate
collected in the CIP tank. The RO membranes will periodically be cleaned with an acidic
and an alkaline cleaning solution to prevent salt accumulation and fouling. The duration
and frequency of such process will be determined through the monitoring of the pressure
drop above the membrane.
Furthermore, in order to prevent bacterial growth on the membrane surface, the membranes
will periodically be regenerated via a diluted acid solution, as described above, using the
CIP system. Organic acids have proven to be attacked by microbes and can contribute to
degradation of the membranes; for that reason this process has been selected.
Manual cleaning of some tanks are required in order to mix the required chemical solution
the CIP. From the tank, the solution will be pumped through the entire membrane system.
Circulation takes place for a few minutes, then the CIP tank and RO system will be flushed
and the water drained out of the system (not into the drinking water reservoir).
If the plant has to stop for a prolonged period of more that 1 month, prior to stoppage of
operation, a regeneration process will be carried out after which the membranes will be
soaked and preserved in a more concentrated solution of acid in a proportion of 1.5kg in 50
litres of water which will be drained in the same way as described above when the plant
will be put back in operation.
8.19 LIFESPAN AND COMPONENTS OF DESALINATION PLANT
The desalination plant will consist of components which will be made-up of non-corrosive
materials having a minimum estimated life span of 10 years.
The different components comprising the desalination network system are as follows:
1No. intake borehole equipped with an adequate pump of 10.4m
3
/hour, i.e.
250m
3
/day
1No. set of fine cartridge filters immediately upstream of the R.O apparatus
1No desalinator model PVSECO100
1No desalinated water filter
8.20 SOLID WASTES
Seawater pumped from the beach intake borehole will be pre-filtered through the geo-
textile cloth provided around the 200mm PVC lining in the intake borehole. Consequently
the majority of solid particles will be stopped at the well level while only fine silt or sludge
particles are expected to reach the RO.
Backwashing to clean the sand filters will then be done for not more that 5 to 10 minutes.
The backwash water will afterwards be discharged into sewage treatment plant.
8.21 DOCUMENTATION, TESTING AND COMMISSIONING
All the technical documentation including erection drawings and wiring diagrams will be
provided by the plant supplier.
The desalination equipment basement will be delivered entirely assembled, ready to
operate. The supplier will be responsible for the final testing and commissioning of the
entire desalination plant, under the supervision of the Projects M&E Engineer.
8.22 ENERGY CONSERVATION
8.22.1 The Philosophy
Due to the recent dramatic increase in energy prices, commercial aspects for technical
equipment have become more and more important than ever before. From the
environmental point of view, energy conservation is more and more becoming the
leitmotiv of all development projects.
Combining these two critical criteria therefore, energy consumption and efficiency
(including energy conservation measures) have become the more important factors when
making a decision concerning the investment in a desalination plant as a long-term
investment.
In this respect a high-tech desalination equipment is proposed to be installed at Anse
Femie.
8.22.2 The RO Plant
The PVS-ECO system is a high-tech product with high efficiency and low specific power
consumption for each litre of drinking water produced. As an example, a PVS-ECO RO
plant produces drinking water from seawater at an electricity consumption rate of 2.0 to
2.4kWh/m
3
compared to 6.5kWh/m
3
for a low-tech conventional plant.
The low energy consumption and the resulting low-operating costs guarantee the shortest
possible amortization for the return on investment and achieve energy-savings which is
conducive to the protection of the environment.