Water

Watermaker: Why Do We Need Them?

Sailing is loved by everyone who loves water and nature. It definitely is an exciting experience. However, one of the challenges sailors experience is that, it is very hard for them to produce drinkable water. Usually, they rely on collecting rain or using an evaporation system to have water. That is when some manufacturing companies decided to work on inventing a device that would produce drinkable water from sea water or atmosphere! It is not because they wanted to help those cruisers but because they saw a huge market for an equipment that would make portable water. As a result, watermaker was developed in 1975; it is an instrument that produces portable water from the sea water using reverse osmosis.

Reverse osmosis:

Reverse osmosis is a method of treating water by which water is forced through a semi permeable membrane whose pores are tiny. Thus, the impurities that are too large to pass through the membrane are retained and evacuated.

Stages of reverse osmosis:

  • During the process of initial filtration, pressurized sea water passes through a particulate filter that retains the silt, sand, and the clay that may block the membrane used for reverse osmosis.
  • Then a carbon filter is utilized to trap the contaminants and minerals. The contaminants could contain chromium, pesticides, chloramines and copper. This process retains chlorine as well! This is a very important step because chlorine is an element that reduces the life of membrane.
  • After the above steps, water is then transferred into RO module under pressure. Here impurities are eliminated through membrane, as membrane only allows clean water to pass and retains all the foreign elements.
  • The treated water is then stored in a tank.
  • The carbon filter is finally used to improve the taste and the odor of the treated water.

Reverse osmosis is the main process that is used in watermaker to produce drinking water. However, there is another type of water maker that’s available in the market called “atmospheric water generator”. Atmospheric water generator is device that generates pure water from the atmospheric air by refrigeration. This compared to reverse osmosis process is not very energy efficient. One of the main advantages in using this device is that, it does not require any water supply. This device would produce water even in desert.

Here are some common pros and cons of water makers:

Pros:

  • User friendly and it makes the user to be independent of any outside water supplies. Especially, this is handy in remote parts of the globe.
  • Gives safe water quality compared to shore-based water supply.
  • There are some portable designs available that can be altered for manual operations in cases of emergency.

Cons:

  • One of the main disadvantages is its cost. For example, the manual type could cost up to two thousand American dollars.
  • The towed water-powered model costs around four thousand American dollars. The price is even more for the motor driven types.
  • Some of the models are expensive and time consuming to maintain.

Watermaker

also requires a lot of power to function, except for the water powered ones and the emergency devices. However, some electrically powered devices are manufactured with energy recovery system that helps to reduce the amount of power consumed. These are more expensive than the regular ones.

Just like any other devices, there are many pros and cons to watermakers. If it fails, it costs a lot of money to replace it. In any case, these are excellent devices that are becoming very handy in producing clean drinking water.

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