UV LED portable water purification program awarded to SETi

Aug. 17, 2012
Columbia, SC--ONR awarded a $1.6 million dollar program to Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi) to develop a portable UV LED water purification system.

Columbia, SC--The Office of Naval Research (ONR; Arlington, VA) awarded a $1.6 million dollar program to Sensor Electronic Technology, Inc. (SETi) to develop a self-contained portable water purification system incorporating ultraviolet (UV) LED technology for water quality monitoring and disinfection. The goal of the program is to develop a portable unit that can provide a small team of warfighters with a self-sustainable source of potable water from any fresh water source.

Although stand-alone UV LED water disinfection efficacy has already been demonstrated at SETi through a program funded by the National Science Foundation, this demonstration was designed for commercial use and will not meet the needs of the warfighter. Instead, the new program must achieve compliance with the rigorous standards of NSF P-248 and SETi has teamed up with Cascade Designs, Inc (CDI; Seattle, WA) to combine novel mechanical filtration technologies with effective disinfection from UV LEDs.

The system will also monitor water quality, and will be smaller, more robust, and consume less power than any other method available today, while avoiding the need for toxic chemical disinfectants such as chlorine and iodine.

"Modern warfighters assume many risks on the battlefield; drinking contaminated water should not be a concern," said Cody Reese, ONR program manager. "Just as visible-light LEDs have changed the face of lighting, ultraviolet LEDs have the potential to revolutionize water disinfection at all scales with a marked improvement to safety, durability, and energy consumption--from the mouth-piece of an individual drink tube, all the way to commercial-scale water treatment plants."

SETi recently announced 8X efficiency improvements of LEDs operating in the germicidal wavelength range through a DARPA development program. During the project CDI will be focusing on designing novel filtration techniques to complement SETi’s UV LED disinfection reactor. Other members of the development team include the University of Colorado's department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, led by professor Karl Linden, and the Institute of Applied Research at Vilnius University, Lithuania, led by professor Arturas Zukauskas. The team at University of Colorado is focused on research related to advanced treatment technologies for water and with a rich history in UV systems, will assist in modeling water flow and light distribution from the LEDs to optimize the efficacy of the UV chamber. With a strong history of integrating SETi LEDs into optical monitors and spectrometers, Vilnius University will assist in the development of an optical water quality monitor that will measure the microbial level in the water and adjust the system accordingly.

SOURCE: SETi; www.s-et.com/news/2012-08-14.pdf

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!