UK water company United Utilities is deploying the first municipal scale UV-LED system from start-up Typhon Treatment
Microorganisms and bacteria to be eventually targeted by scaled-up tech
The world’s largest ultraviolet (UV)-LED technology system for municipal water disinfection will be installed in the UK.
Water company United Utilities (UU) has placed an order for a 28,000 m3/day drinking water plant system from start-up Typhon Treatment Systems following the signing of an eight-year, kit framework agreement.
When completed, this will be the first municipal-scale UV-LED system water treatment technology and the largest application in the world. Multiple base units from Typhon, providing 250 m3/hour (6000 m3/day), will be combined to enable the total capacity.
Typhon’s reactors will be installed in parallel downstream of the Cumwinton Water Treatment Works filtration gallery. Installed equipment will be fully integrated into the existing control and monitoring system.
In the future, United Utilities plans to use Typhon’s technology to treat for microorganisms or help remove taste and odour from drinking water and also, in separate installations, to treat bacteria in wastewater before returning it to the environment.
Installation and commissioning are slated for early 2020.
Tipping point on LED technology
The large-scale installation follows two trials between the companies. The first involved advanced oxidation process (AOP) for the removal on taste and odour and a second on disinfection. More details can be seen in the video below:
Historically UV-LED systems have been limited to low flow, or personal use water treatment products on the market. In contrast, mercury lamp UV technology has been the go-to, dominant force for utility-scale treatment systems.
As a result, this latest United Utilities project will act as a milestone in the UV-LED journey to show it can operate at large scale for municipal applications – an area that has been dominated by mercury lamp UV technology for years.
Elsewhere, Typhon said it is in discussions with water utilities in Ireland and the Netherlands.
Dr Martin Padley, director of water & scientific services at United Utilities, said: “We spotted the potential in Typhon’s product as part of our pioneering Innovation Lab programme now in its second year, which is designed to help incubate new tech and bring it to the UK water market.”
Peter McNulty, CEO of Typhon, added: “The rate of improvement in performance and cost of UV LEDs, as well as the ongoing refinement of the reactor technology, indicates we are on our way to competing with a growing variety of UV water treatment applications. The future is very exciting.”
Japanese UV-LED competition
Another company spearheading the scaling up of LED technology is the Japanese firm, Metawater.
In comparison, the company is offering a 1,200 m3/day scale system, developed from a 300 m3/day UV-LED system as a starting point.
Metawater is aiming to have the larger scale system in treatment facilities serving 100,000 people but says it is still working on reducing the cost of UV reactors and LED modules. This includes improving LED optical power and "achieving a longer life".
- Typhon Treatment will be exhibiting as part of the UK Department for International Trade Pavilion at Aquatech Amsterdam.