Smart Solutions for Water and Environment
Water Quality and Its Smart Cycle
Toshiba's Smart Solutions for Water and Environment
TAMURA Kunio / NAKADA Masajiro
Expectations have been focused on more effective use of renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic, wind, and biomass energy, since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. On the other hand, global issues to be addressed include depletion of water, energy, and natural resources and global warming accompanying rapid population growth. There is a strong requirement for a comprehensive approach aimed at realizing sustainable solutions for diverse regional, environmental, and cultural needs, in order to solve the complex interactive issues related to social infrastructure.
In response to these various issues, Toshiba is making continuous efforts to provide smart solutions for water and the environment. Such solutions contribute to the efficient use of resources, savings in costs, and reduction of risks through the use of operational control technologies including information and communication technology (ICT) and water and wastewater treatment equipment.
ICT Solutions Contributing to Water and Sewage Service Businesses
SUGINO Toshiharu / KONDO Shinya / HIRAOKA Yukio
The water and sewage service businesses in Japan are now facing various problems associated with sustainable business operations, such as the stagnation and gradual decrease in water demand, a lack of experienced personnel due to the retirement of people in the baby boom generation, aging facilities, and provision for earthquake disasters. In order to solve such problems, there is a need to manage and utilize large volumes of diverse information for wide-area management resulting from business integration, the introduction of a private-sector type business approach, and the formulation of mechanisms for passing on technologies.
Toshiba is promoting the development of solutions contributing to the realization of smart water and sewage service businesses applying information and communication technologies (ICTs). These include various solutions for our operation and maintenance (O&M) remote platform, a training system to improve crisis management capabilities, and a knowledge bank system to pass on technologies and know-how.
Smart Energy Solution for Water Supply and Wastewater Systems Utilizing Renewable Energy Sources
OISHI Masayuki / SHIMIYA Atsumasa / MATOBA Masayoshi
Demand has recently arisen for environmentally friendly electricity supplies utilizing renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic power generation, small hydroelectric generation, and so on. The reason for this trend is not only to reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also, since the Great East Japan Earthquake, to secure emergency power systems in the event of a disaster.
Toshiba is promoting the introduction of renewable energy sources into water supply and wastewater systems. We are also developing a smart energy solution for water supply and wastewater systems to realize efficient electric power supply and demand through the combination of renewable energy sources and electricity storage devices in both normal and emergency situations.
Effective Energy and Resource Utilization Technologies for Water Supply Systems
MAKISE Ryutaro / ABE Norimitsu / YOKOKAWA Katsuya
To meet the growing demand for safer and more palatable water as well as stable water supplies, various technologies such as an advanced water treatment process, countermeasures against chlorine-tolerant pathogenic organisms, a membrane filtration process, and so on have been introduced into water utilities in recent years. Effective energy and resource utilization in the water supply technology field has also become a critical issue worldwide as a measure against global warming.
With this as a background, Toshiba has been engaged in research and development aimed at realizing effective energy and resource utilization technologies as smart technologies for water supply systems, including an ozone injection control system using a fluorescence analyzer, a lamp power control system for ultraviolet (UV) irradiation equipment, and membrane filtration simulation technologies. These technologies are contributing to lower electricity and chemical consumption and a decrease in the number of devices used in water supply systems, thereby achieving comprehensive cost reductions for water supply plants compared with conventional technologies.
Technologies to Reduce Water Production Costs at Seawater Desalination Plants
MATSUI Koichi / KUROKAWA Futoshi / MATSUSHIRO Takeshi
Due to the increasingly serious water shortage on a global scale in recent years, seawater desalination plants, particularly those utilizing the reverse osmosis (RO) membrane process, are becoming a widespread solution for the production of water. However, with the usage of large amounts of both electricity and chemicals in desalination plants, their high operating cost is an important issue affecting their dissemination.
Toshiba has developed the following technologies to reduce water production costs at seawater desalination plants: (1) an optimal recovery control technology that achieves the lowest energy cost in the operation of energy recovery equipment at any desalination recovery rate, and (2) an optimal operation technology applying the backwashing of membrane filters with hot water, which reduces the initial cost and energy cost by allowing the number of membrane modules required to be selected. We will offer smart desalination solutions applying these technologies.
Solutions for Wastewater Management to Realize Energy Saving, Efficient Use of Resources, and Risk Reduction
YOSHIZAWA Naoto / YAMANAKA Osamu / IMAI Tadashi
Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, demand has arisen in the wastewater field both in Japan and overseas for greater energy independence and the development of resilience technologies as well as enhanced reclamation of water, resources, and energy to maintain the optimal water cycle. Moreover, many developing countries that are facing water shortages due to rapid population growth require operation and control technologies for efficient use of limited water resources.
To meet these requirements characterized by regional and cultural diversity, Toshiba has been developing smart water solutions contributing to energy saving, efficient use of resources, and risk reduction as well as resilience enhancement. These solutions incorporate the following technologies: (1) a sewage sludge fuelization system for resource saving and cost reduction, (2) a nonaeration type wastewater treatment system under evaluation for cost reduction and energy saving, (3) a process performance diagnosis system under evaluation for cost and risk reduction, and (4) various urban drainage systems under development for the reduction of both risks and costs.
Industrial Wastewater Treatment Technologies to Reduce Environmental Burdens at Low Cost
TSUTSUMI Kenji / YAMANASHI Ichiro / FUKAYA Taro
Accompanying the globalization of manufacturing industries and intensification of price competition in recent years, there is an ongoing need for both cost saving and low environmental load in the field of wastewater treatment systems throughout the world.
As a solution to this issue, Toshiba has been developing the TOSAQUATM series wastewater treatment system for industrial use based on the concept of utilizing nonchemical methods. We have successfully put a nonchemical feed filtration system that uses no coagulants into practical use for the treatment of wastewater with minute suspended solids and poor dewaterability, which is contributing to the reduction of environmental burdens. Moreover, we have developed the following technologies that further reduce initial costs: (1) a functional powder that can adsorb various oils, and (2) an ultrahigh-speed precipitation unit that can be installed in a small space. By incorporating these technologies into wastewater treatment systems as needed, we can provide a smart wastewater treatment system realizing the optimal solution with lower cost and lower environmental burden according to the volume of water treated.