Seawater Desalination Systems

Method Principle

Seawater Desalination with the application of reverse osmosis (RO) process is a well tested and recognized technology that can provide high quality potable water in an economically feasible and reliable way.

The RO desalination method is based on the flow of highly pressurized water through membranes that separate the intake in two parts; the permeate water that is allowed to pass through the membrane (30 – 40% of the intake water) and the concentrate water that is retained on the pressurized side of the membrane, (60 – 70% of the intake water). The concentrate contains 99.8% of the permeate water salts. The permeate water has a significantly low content of salts making it suitable for drinking, irrigation and most industrial applications.

The advanced seawater desalination systems constitute a well tested solution for resolving water quality and water shortage issues in communities, industry, hotels and resorts.

Advanced Desalination Systems

The term “advanced” systems refers to the integration of a series of characteristics that attribute a reliable and economical operational system with the use of modern equipment and technologies.


These characteristics include the following:

•    Special stainless steel and high pressure plastic components

•    Integrated automatic chemical cleaning system (Clean-In-Place CIP system)

•    Water-lubricated piston high performance pumps, by Grundfos or Danfoss Denmark, with stainless steel parts resistant to corrosion, in combination with electric motors of the highest energy efficiency class.

•    Energy recovery system including Pressure Exchanger ERI / Grundfos with a 95-98% efficiency capability.

•    Frequency inverters for the optimum and easy adjustment to the variations of the intake water salinity (salt content).

•    Smart electronic control with the use of a PLC and digital touch screen

•    Remote control and monitoring

•    Minimal use of dispensable chemicals

•    Mechanical equipment by world-wide recognized manufacturers (Grundfos, Danfoss Demnark, Siemens Buerkert, TecSis Germany, Dow Filmtec U.S.A., Hydranautics U.S.A., Pentair Water, Praher Austria).

The above design achieves a significantly low energy consumption per cubic meter of water produced, certified at 2.4KW/m3 of water produced (Aegean Sea water salinity level, winter conditions). Additionally, SYCHEM seawater desalination systems use minimal amounts of chemicals by avoiding the dosing of sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide in the water produced.
All SYCHEM seawater desalination systems have been designed with provisions for high level monitoring through automated systems that are controlled via touch screens.


•    Are highly ergonomical and are supplied fully mounted within steel containers

•   System operation does not depend on a single high pressure pump; instead, the systems are equipped with a series of safety valves that allow their operation at a reduced inflow, even during major equipment failure conditions.

Installation and Design

In addition to the successful installation of a desalination system, an experienced engineering design process is an essential prerequisite for the uninterrupted and smooth operation of the system.
•    Indicative critical design parameters are presented below:
Method and materials used for seawater suction. Taking into consideration the criticality and the level of complexity of this particular parameter, SYCHEM has developed special techniques such as horizontal seawater suction underneath the shoreline.
•    Tanks and seawater treatment prior to the desalination system inlet and after production (resolution of biofouling control issues, corrosion control, etc).
•    Piping network arrangement and water management.

Typical Technical Characteristics

Seawater desalination systems can operate with total dissolved solids (TDS) ranging from 6.000 to 43.000mg/L and can produce potable water with a maximum TDS concentration of 500mg/L.

By applying innovative design concepts, SYCHEM is the first company to build and install third generation (series SYRO SW) seawater desalination systems, by integrating a special pressure exchanger and thus reducing drastically the cost of production (max. 3.0KWh/m3 of water produced).

All SYRO SW units incorporate the following:

  • Touch screen that allows monitoring and easy control of the system operation. The same screen provides a programming capability of the system regarding all the critical operating parameters.
  • 316L Stainless steel frame with special corrosion protection coating and adjustable base.
  • High pressure durable piping networks consisting entirely of stainless steel seawater type 904L, duplex or super duplex.
  • Capability of immediate high pressure network disassembly without the use of special tools for easy maintenance operations.
  • DOW Membranes – Filmtech or Hydranautics U.S.A.
  • Special type membrane pressure vessels for easy maintenance and membrane replacement.
  • Integrated chemical cleaning system with automated control capabilities from the PLC.
  • Electrical circuit board with PLC and digital touch screen interface, in addition to capability for supervision and control of a series of parameters via graphic environment.
  • High quality specification and capabilities digital measuring instruments, fully connected to the PLC and with display on the touch screen.
  • Full automation (alarm for all critical parameters, connection to tank level switches, control of auxiliary pumps and post-treatment systems, etc).
  • Operation & Maintenance manual including coding system for all equipment on valves and appurtenances with permanent marking.

Technical Support

In addition to sound design and fabrication, the proper and smooth operation of a desalination system depends on technical support, as well as monitoring. SYCHEM owns a well equipped laboratory in which the quality of produced water is validated with a series of analyses, and a well organized electronic system for monitoring all the installed seawater desalination units.

The above mentioned services, including routine and emergency maintenance operations, may be included within the contractual responsibilities for monitoring and maintenance, in order to ensure the quality and quantity of the water production.

SYCHEM S.A. owns and operates a manufacturing facility for the assembly and maintenance of desalination units, located at the industrial area of Heraklion, Crete. SYCHEM also permanently employs trained and specialized technicians in Athens as well as in Crete. By providing these services, SYCHEM can ensure the immediate intervention and service for any potential failure, as well as the resources for continuous and organized staff training at each installation during the operation of the system.

Warranty / Assurance

SYCHEM systems’ high quality of design and construction, along with the expertise relating to each application allows the provision of comprehensive warranties, and specifically:
2-year warranty on all the mechanical equipment with immediate on-site replacement of potential defective parts.

3-year warranty on the membranes

5-year warranty on the piping network and the electrical equipment

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