Galley-Scullery Water Conservation System (GSWCS)
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-024
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam -
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-024 TITLE: Galley-Scullery Water Conservation System (GSWCS)


ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS501, Littoral Combat Ship Program Office

OBJECTIVE: Research, develop and demonstrate an innovative water conservation system for shipboard application in the Galley-Scullery that significantly reduces water usage, both potable and wastewater.

DESCRIPTION: The Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are designed for coastal shallow water operations and protection against terrorist and asymmetric threats. The requirement for coastal shore operations prohibits them and other naval vessels from discharging wastewater from galley, scullery and other potential water drainage systems in accordance with Maritime Pollution (MARPOL), federal, state and international regulations (ref 1). Executive Order 12088 requires forces afloat, as appropriate, to cooperate with federal, state and local environmental protection organizations and comply with the official substantive standards and criteria promulgated by such agencies (ref 3). Consequently, all US Navy ships, including the LCS, have to store all wastewater generated aboard ship in the Collection Holding Transfer (CHT) tanks, which are designed to support a 12-hour holding period. As stated in the white paper (ref 4),"Evolution in U.S. Navy Shipboard Sewage and Gray water Programs", the need for U.S. Navy ships to operate for extended periods in littoral waters, and anticipated discharge regulation changes require a need for innovative water conservation and recycling systems. In some areas of the United States such as, Washington State, Alaska, and the Great Lakes region ships are not allowed to discharge any wastewater at all. Due to the Navy’s increase of littoral operations, costly upgrades to the CHT tanks on some ships are being made to increase the size of the CHT holding tanks. Two examples include the LHA and LPD-17 amphibious class ships. The upgrades were implemented to increase gray water holding times from a norm of 12 hours to 36 hours. These upgrades for just two LHA-1 class ships cost the Navy $1,014,000 to implement during an overhaul period (ref 7). The relatively high water demand associated with supporting the galley, scullery and other water drainage systems can place a significant demand on the CHT systems due to the limited tank size and holding capacity (ref 2). There is a critical need to reduce water consumption through recycling, and to decrease the amount of wastewater entering these CHT systems by leveraging innovative water conservation and repurposing technologies, particularly for scullery and galley operations. The GSWCS is intended to significantly reduce the logistics burdens and high costs associated with shore side offload and disposal of ship wastewater. In addition to water, fuel, and manpower savings associated with offloading of waste, the technology will allow increased operational time for future naval vessels operating in littoral waters without performing costly upgrades to CHT systems or offloading of wastewater.

The current commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) water recycling systems that could possibly be installed aboard ships utilize filters that tend to foul easily with the induction of gray water. This is why procuring a filtration type COTS solution would not work for gray water recycling aboard naval vessels. The filtration devices would cause added maintenance and a need to change out filters more frequently, thus increasing operation and maintenance support costs.

Current state-of-the-art gray water recycling technologies utilized in some commercial applications include: Membrane Bioreactors, Advanced Oxidation processes, Brine Concentrator and Evaporator Recovery Systems, and Forward Osmosis Treatment Systems. These technologies have been proven in the commercial sector to effectively reduce water consumption by recovering and reusing up to 95% of all wastewater. The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) (ref 4) as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) (ref 5) are both exploring Membrane Bioreactor technology for wastewater recycling. NASA’s wastewater exploration process combines a membrane-aerated bioreactor with a forward osmosis treatment system. The combination effectively destroys harmful pathogens and removes solids. The processed liquid’s biochemical oxygen demand is reduced rendering the water fit for reuse. The NASA wastewater processing system is anticipated to reduce water consumption by more than 90%. According to NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency, (refs 5, 6) "forward osmosis technology is an innovative, sustainable, and affordable alternative to reverse osmosis technology." One key advantage of the state-of-the-art technologies for naval vessel integration is the modularity of the systems and the ability to fit within a small footprint or confined space such as a shipboard application. In addition, the innovative combination of more than one technology could solve the existing shipboard issue of waste water holding within a limited tank size or footprint and save the Navy millions of dollars in CHT upgrade and support costs (ref 7).

The GSWCS is envisioned to reduce potable water consumption, weight, and the amount of wastewater entering the CHT tanks aboard these vessels by reuse of water in the galley and scullery areas. The weight reduction will be due to fewer gallons of wastewater being held in the CHT systems.

The GSWCS should be configured for use in the galley and scullery, where compact, modular and/or under-counter installation should be employed. The GSWCS is envisioned to use smart control system technology, modularity, and automated processes to perform all functions. The GSWCS capabilities should include self diagnostics and prognostics for reduced system maintenance and repair. The autonomous system should be developed with a modular, open systems architecture approach to permit life-cycle upgrading, flexibility for inclusion of various commercial technologies, and adaptability to shipboard spaces and configurations. The system is envisioned to include computer-controlled sensors and operating mechanisms able to function in all shipboard environments and withstand shipboard motions and sea states.

PHASE I: The company will develop approaches for an automated water conditioning and recycling system concept for LCS that meet the requirements described above. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs and will establish that the concept can be feasibly developed into a useful product for the Navy. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling. The small business will provide a Phase II development plan that addresses technical risk reduction and provides performance goals and key technical milestones.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the small business will develop a prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in the Phase II development plan and the Navy requirements for the GSWCS. The system performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation over the required range of parameters including deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use.

PHASE III: The company will be expected to support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop a GSWCS according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The potential for commercial application includes cruise ships that have technologically advanced smart appliances, cargo ships, tankers, restaurants, institutional food service operations, and workboats. The additional capability to employ a modular lightweight GSWCS automated system that conditions and recycles water will appeal to the commercial sector as a cost effective measure to reduce labor, water and energy costs.

1. Marine Environment Protection Committee, "2012 Guidelines for the Implementation of MARPOL Annex V from IMO (International Maritime Organization)." 2 March 2012

2. Lloyd’s Register "Management of Ships’ Waste" MARPOL International Maritime Regulation, 06 Nov 2007

3. Navy Medicine Publication P 5010-7, "Manual of Naval Preventive Medicine, Chapter 7, WASTEWATER TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL, ASHORE AND AFLOAT,"

4. Demboski, Drew, J. "Evolutions in U.S. Navy Shipboard Sewage and Gray water Programs.PDF."

5. NASA Ames Release 13-10AR, Ruth Dasso Marlaire, "NASA Targets Water Recycling System for Rapid Deployment."

6. McCutcheon, Jeffrey, R. "Enabling Potable Reuse Of Wastewater Using Forward Osmosis: A Sustainable And Affordable Alternative To Reverse Osmosis." 1 Jun 2011.


KEYWORDS: waste water reuse; shipboard water conservation; galley waste water; membrane bioreactor; Collection Holding Transfer (CHT) tanks; potable water recovery

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