London’s Heathrow Airport has saved more than 130 million liters of water annually using General Electric’s water treatment technologies, GE says, adding that its technologies also saved the UK’s largest airport $310,000 in a year.
Thirty-nine cooling towers across four terminals at the airport were treated with GE’s corrosion inhibitor, cooling and chemical treatment technologies. After 12 months, the airport saved the equivalent of 5 percent of total site water usage.
In recognition of its water usage reductions, GE awarded Heathrow Airport with an Ecomaginaton award, given to top industrial customers to recognize their environmental and economic performance.
In addition to helping Heathrow save money and water, GE’s Ecomagination line of products and services drives profits for GE, representing about 30 percent of the company’s total sales in 2014. Ecomagination products have generated more than $200 billion in revenues since GE started the program 10 years ago.
At Heathrow, the airport’s cooling towers were monitored in real time, and the data was analyzed with GE’s InSight knowledge management system and TrueSense for Cooling remote monitoring and diagnostics platforms. The Industrial Internet technologies enable the precise dosing of chemicals in the right quantity. They also allowed the airport to continuously monitor the system, thus ensuring system performance, cost optimization and improved efficiency.
Previously, the 39 cooling towers were treated with ozone, which restricted the cooling towers to only two cycles. After using GE’s water treatment chemicals and technologis, Heathrow Airport was able to reduce make-up water demand by increasing cooling tower cycles from two to five, which led to a increase in water efficiency and clean water.
In March — on World Water Day — in the US, GE participated in a White House summit to discuss water saving strategies and technologies, at which major businesses pledged to invest more than $1 billion over the next decade to conduct research and development into new water management technologies. This includes $500 million from GE, focusing on advanced water, wastewater and reuse technologies.