MECO wins US Navy desalination contracts

Louisiana-based MECO has been awarded the design and development of advanced shipboard desalination units for the US Navy under contracts with the Office of Naval Research.

MECO will develop systems rated at 4,000 and 100,000 GPD (15 m³/d and 378.5 m³/d) designed to take advantage of advancements in technology and function within the constraints of operating on naval ships. The program will span three years with the first six months spent in design followed by development of demonstration prototypes.

Objectives of the program include minimizing volume, mass and manning requirements while improving reliability.

In conjunction with Teledyne Scientific and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, MECO is also developing technologies to further reduce weight, space and energy for man-portable desalination. MECO is currently under contract with the US Army Tank-automotive & Armaments Command for production of the Lightweight Water Purifier (LWP).

The LWP, previously designed and developed by MECO, represents current state of the art technology for small mobile water purification and desalination needs. The LWP produces 125 GPH (473 L/h) of freshwater from a brackish water source or 75 GPH (170 L/h) from a seawater source.

The LWP removes nuclear, biological or chemical agents from the water supply, is set up in 45 minutes and operated by one soldier. The LWP fits in the back of a HMVEE or a Blackhawk helicopter and is air-droppable.