How Do Marine Water Makers Work

How so marine water makers work

Marine watermakers are revolutionary pieces of kit that enable seafarers the world over to convert undrinkable seawater into safe, fresh drinking water, right onboard their vessels. But how, exactly, does such a process work?

If you've ever wondered about the science behind marine watermakers and how they ensure a constant supply of potable water in the middle of the ocean, then this article is for you.

Understanding The Core Mechanism

The heart of any marine watermaker is a process called reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is the principle where we reverse natural osmotic pressure to separate the saline content from seawater, thereby producing fresh and drinkable water. Water molecules are forced through a membrane at high pressure, while salt ions are held back, creating a partition of fresh water on one side and brine (concentrated salt water) on the other.

Running this process in real life though, isn’t as simple as described. In a marine environment, the raw seawater we're dealing with isn't just salt and water, it contains algae, plankton, bacteria, debris, and other soluble substances. That’s where some pre-filtration is required. This enables us to remove any larger debris and particles before the reverse osmosis process, hence safeguarding the RO membrane and ensuring a more efficient operation.

The success of a marine watermaker largely depends on its membrane. Membranes are consumables that require regular maintenance and may occasionally need replacement, depending on the usage and water conditions. They are usually spiral-wound and encased in a protective cylindrical shell.

If you would like a free, no obligation watermaker quote (or want to chat about your requirements), please click here to contact us.

Energy Used in Marine Watermakers

A common query that arises pertains to the energy usage in marine watermakers given that the reverse osmosis process requires a significant amount of pressure to function effectively. It's important to understand that while the technique necessitates the application of considerable pressure, technological advancements give us solutions to ensure this doesn't translate to astronomical energy consumption.

High pressure pumps are usually employed in marine watermakers. These pumps help develop the essential osmotic pressure required for the RO process. Moreover, some modern watermakers utilize energy recovery systems that significantly lower the power consumption. For instance, certain units utilize the high-pressure reject water to aid the incoming feed water, thereby decreasing the overall energy expense.

Every bit as important as energy use, is the watermaker’s capacity. Marine watermakers come in various sizes and capacities, ranging from lower capacities ideal for small sailboats to high-output units designed to cater to large vessels and even island communities.

Maintaining Your Marine Watermaker

Maintenance for marine watermakers might seem like a daunting task for most people, but with the right guidance and equipment, it's pretty straightforward. Most of the maintenance revolves around correctly looking after the reverse osmosis membrane – flushing the system regularly, checking valve functionality, and ensuring necessary repairs when required.

Ongoing care can vary depending on the model and brand of the watermaker, but some general practices include regular fresh water flushes and routine visual inspections. There’s also occasional parts replacement to consider, particularly relating to the pre-filters and the prime membrane of the unit.

Preserving the lifespan of the RO membrane primarily involves protecting it from contamination, so avoiding running the watermaker in polluted waters and properly storing the RO membrane if the unit isn’t going to be used for an extended period, are critical measures.

In Summary

Marine watermakers are a blend of simple yet complex engineering design and science, leveraging the principle of reverse osmosis to convert seawater into potable water. From understanding the core mechanism and energy usage to learning about the maintenance requirements, we hope that this article clarifies the workings of these invaluable devices to all sea lovers out there.

In conclusion, with respect to our global community of seafarers who depend on reliable and efficient marine watermakers for safe, drinkable water, our team is ready to offer some valuable solutions. And to ease this process, we invite you to get a free quote for a marine watermaker from us today. Embark on your next maritime journey with confidence, knowing you have a reliable source of fresh, potable water onboard with you.

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Why do you need a Watermaker on board?
A watermaker provides autonomy, because you can produce your own water at any time; without having to go ashore to fill tanks; with this solution we gain time, space, and money. In addition, as the water produced is drinking water, this allows us to travel lighter, with smaller water tanks, using less fuel.
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