Solar-Powered Sludge Dryer Expands into Water Treatment Facilities

The commissioning expands the technology from its application in wastewater treatment plants.

The first North American solar sludge drying plant at a water treatment facility has just been commissioned, expanding the technology from its applications in wastewater treatment plants. A THERMO-SYSTEM Active Solar Sludge Drying System was commissioned during the first week of November on the Hawaiian island of Waimea.

It consists of a two-chamber design for drying sludge from a water plant lagoon, taking the material from 2.5 percent to 25 percent dry solids. This reduces sludge volume by 90 percent, which will dramatically reduce the plant’s hauling costs. Additionally, the plant will have low operating costs thanks to the chemical-free system operations, reliance on the sun for 95 percent of the energy necessary for drying, and a fully automated process that will free up labor for other activities.

While the Waimea startup is the first of its kind in the United States, the THERMO-SYSTEM technology has become a proven sludge-drying technology with more than 100 installations throughout the world, ranging from the freezing temperatures of the Swiss Alps to the hot and humid climate of south Florida.

“We are very pleased to see the THERMO-SYSTEM product line enter the water treatment market. The extremely low operating costs, which have caused rapid growth of the technology in the wastewater market, will provide the same attractive operating benefits in the water treatment market as well,” said Mike Miller, vice president of the Municipal Water and Wastewater Division for Parkson.

With 25,000 installations in its 50 years of existence, Parkson Corporation provides advanced solutions in water recycling and treatment.