WEFTEC 2016: GE expands digital water capabilities

GE at weftec16

At WEFTEC 2016, GE announced the expansion of its digital water capabilities to address the water leakage issues faced by utilities.

“In the U.S. alone, an estimated 2.1 trillion gallons of water are lost annually due to infrastructure challenges, like water main breaks, pipe bursts and unidentified leaks,” said Heiner Markhoff, president and CEO—water and distributed power for GE Power.

“GE’s goal is to build a more sustainable water future by delivering software-as-a-service (SaaS) through a single platform, Predix*, to produce operational efficiencies that improve water quality and availability worldwide,” Markhoff added.

GE’s vision for digital water solutions centers around three main areas: the connection of “inside the fence” plant operations with “outside the fence” distribution networks; the utilization of software solutions to proactively identify and prevent potential problems in real time; and the collaboration of industry organizations and associations to move digital concepts forward, GE said.

GE has launched three software proof of concepts, powered by Predix, that specifically address pipeline health, storm and sewer management and water plant efficiency.

The first solution, Pipeline Health is designed in partnership with American Water. This SaaS proof of concept is focused on water distribution piping, which digitally maps total pipeline health and provides proactive risk identification.

Storm and Sewer Solutions, the second solution designed in partnership with MWH Global, focuses on sewer and storm water overflows. The software will utilize level sensors and mapping to enable faster reactive maintenance and increased proactive maintenance to reduce overflow frequency and number.

The third, Digital Water Plant is an advancement to GE InSight Asset Performance Management solution to optimize water treatment plant assets and operations. This solution has the ability to create a powerful digital replica of a customer’s plant that would enable them to run more efficiently and reliably while reducing costs and maintaining compliance.

As a way to further its commitment to being a leader in the digital water space, GE has entered into several partnerships that help advance its vision of solving global water and wastewater challenges through data and analytics.

GE joined the North American Alliance of Smart Water Networks Forum (SWAN) to help accelerate smart water and wastewater development in North America through the forum’s collective, global industry expertise.

GE has also been associated with Smart Cities Council, which promotes the move to smart, sustainable cities.

Also, GE has entered into a “beta partner” program with Imagine H2O showing its commitment to deploy water innovation within IH2O’s portfolio companies, which in turn gain access to insight on how to scale their technology on a global scale.

Rajani Baburajan