Project: Product performance simulation using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling

Synopsis: Our client, a US-based membrane technology company, hired PWS to perform a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) study to simulate the advantages of their novel 3D printed membrane feed spacer designs when compared to the conventional mesh designs.

Scope: Over a course of two months, PWS performed a detailed CFD study with the following scope:

  • Developing hydraulic performance models for a series of conventional and novel membrane feed spacers used in reverse osmosis membrane elements
  • A numerical tool to compare and contrast pressure drop profiles across the membrane modules for each of the novel and conventional feed spacer geometries modelled.

Results: Our client’s novel 3D printed spacers were found to provide considerable reduction in specific energy consumption through reduction of feed to reject pressure drop across the membrane element, allowing greater opportunity for energy recovery as well as improving the packing density of RO membrane modules.