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The origins of the MVCD™ technology

August 09, 2021 3 min read

Scottish Enterprise

The SMART Feasibility project enabled us to produce a working prototype which proved that our technology can produce distilled water quicker and more energy efficiently than traditional distillation devices. This prototype technology is the  basis for a future commercially viable product.

Water purification is a major issue for the future with 99.993% of the world's water being undrinkable. Pressures on fresh water supplies have become and continue to be greater as the world's population increases and requires more to survive.

Increasingly more use will have to be made of less directly potable sources of water, such as that which may be contaminated, brackish or otherwise deemed of previously marginal value. Moreover, quality in domestic mains supplies may deteriorate because of such factors as drought, contamination (such as by plastics and micro-plastics as these contaminate the water supply) ageing infrastructure and inability to cope with future demand. Many contaminants such as viruses, hormones, micro-plastics, heavy metals etc are not fully removed by filters and reverse osmosis machines.

Distillation provides one solution to this problem and distilled water is also used in large quantities in a variety of different industries within the chemical and biological field where highly purified water is essential. However previous distillation solutions in the market are outdated and have tended to be large, unwieldy, uneconomical and suitable only for large scale supplies, such as for an entire town.

The Clean Water Designs (CWD) technology solves this problem by developing a low-energy, high-speed water distillation device capable of producing pure distilled water free from all contaminants, regardless of the piped source water quality.

The patent pending technology, miniaturises the industrial process of Vapour Compression Distillation as well as recycling the energy used in the process making the device highly energy efficient. In designing the system we have come across several challenges and developed unique methods of speeding up and improving the energy efficiency of traditional distillation methods.

The technology gives us the opportunity to provide pure water in the kitchen for drinking when mixed with mineral cartridges. A key expert has described the system  as an essential step to allowing Point Of Use water purification in target areas where piped water cannot be guaranteed as clean.

Goals of the SMART Grant project

  1. Refine the Technical Specification through a workshop and further data exchange.
  • Develop a simple model of current architecture (heat transfer between chambers, volume of liquid evaporated/condensed, water pressure at different points, simple description of motor function and cyclone)
  • Use the model to confirm product architecture and explore some simple configurations (moving chamber positions, requirements for motor and cyclone); 
  • Project management: project tracking, maintenance upkeep of project documentation.
  1. Identification of proprietary components; 
  • Support concept generation by CWD and selection of preferred concepts;
  •  Support optimisation of heat exchanger; 
  • Support Cyclone optimisation; 
  • Project management: project tracking, maintenance upkeep of project documentation
  1. With procurement of prototypes 
  • Participate in CWD’s verification testing and associated troubleshooting; 
  • support project tracking, maintenance upkeep of project documentation.

Key Activities

For each of the challenges listed above, significant testing and computer modelling will be required as well as implementing advanced CNC manufacturing methods. Multiple prototypes will be required for testing,data recording and system improvement.

The final prototype must fit together in a continuously running system so further models and simulations must be completed to achieve this.

Multiple separate component experiments will need to be conducted until we have each component working efficiently and safely on their own and then merge them together into one fully functioning system.

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