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Pentair "Hybrid DI" Water Conditioning to Debut in U.S.

March 7, 2012

New technology for commercial applications doesn't use salt; will be first to combine benefits of RO filtration and water softening

LAS VEGAS, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pentair Residential Filtration, LLC, a subsidiary of Pentair, Inc. (NYSE: PNR), a global leader in water treatment solutions, will launch its new electronic water purification system to the North American water industry today at the WQA Aquatech Show.  It is built around a hybrid deionization (hybrid DI) process, using Pentair and Voltea technologies to combine the benefits of reverse osmosis (RO) filtration with those of a water softener – without requiring salt as a regenerant.

Pentair developed the new technology through a partnership with the Dutch firm Voltea, who has licensed the technology exclusively to Pentair in residential and light commercial applications for point-of-entry products. The new technology, which was previewed at the Aquatech Amsterdam Show in late 2011, uses capacitive electrodes to remove hardness and TDS from water without employing salt. The core of the system is Voltea's patented "stack" configuration of electrodes combined with ion-selective membranes. The treatment sequence begins with the purification step. This occurs as untreated water flows through the cell, where ions are drawn through the membranes and absorbed in the charged electrodes, producing high quality treated water. The electrodes automatically regenerate when the system reverses its polarity. This drives the ions out of the electrodes and flushes them from the stack. The polarity is then reset to normal to start purification again.  (View an animation of this process.)

Pentair will use the new system in products for light commercial applications such as retail operations, car washes and laboratories. The technology will also be used in products for residential customers through an agreement with Aquion, Inc.'s RainSoft brand.

"Like a reverse osmosis system, this new product will produce safe, softer, bottled-quality water throughout an entire facility – but with 90 percent less waste water.  Plus, since it doesn't use salt, there is no net increase in discharged total dissolved solids," notes Sam Karge, global vice-president of marketing for Pentair Residential Filtration. "That makes it ideal for a variety of light commercial sectors including hotels/restaurants, healthcare, pharmaceutical and electronics manufacturing."    

The state-of-the-art technology within this hybrid deionization system is driven by a Pentair-developed, advanced micro-controller that uses an array of sensors to monitor and manage all system and water quality parameters in real time. The technology continuously assesses the inlet and treated water quality, controls the power supplied to the stack, and adjusts operating cycles and system flows to continuously optimize performance. The controller includes self-diagnostics and auto-clean cycles. It also features a full-color touch screen user interface with animated "User" displays that are intuitive for the everyday user/homeowner and interactive "Technical" screens for system maintenance providers.

Products using the Pentair and Voltea technologies hybrid DI system are expected to become available in mid-2012.

Pentair, Inc. is a global diversified industrial company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its Water Group is a global leader in providing innovative products and systems used worldwide in the movement, treatment, storage and enjoyment of water. Pentair's Technical Products Group is a leader in the global enclosures and thermal management markets, designing and manufacturing thermal management products and standard, modified, and custom enclosures that protect sensitive electronics and the people that use them. With 2011 revenues of $3.5 billion, Pentair employs over 15,000 people worldwide.

Pentair Residential Filtration, a division of Pentair, Inc., provides clean, safe and aesthetically-pleasing water to residences through long-standing partnerships around the world, leveraging innovative, environmentally focused and energy-saving technologies. Its distribution partners have access to the industry's widest range of high quality products available to meet all global residential water market needs. Under strong brands and product names such as GE, Homespring by GE, Everpure®, PENTEK®, Fleck®, Autotrol®, WellMate®, AquaMatic®, Structural®, American Plumber® and OMNIFilter®, Pentair Water Purification offers a broad product portfolio ranging from filter housings, filter cartridges, drinking water systems, softeners, pressure vessels and control valves, so that partners can carry the best products to meet all residential water needs.

Voltea commercializes capacitive deionization (CapDI) in a number of applications including industrial water re-use and residential water softening. CapDI is the world's most efficient system to desalinate brackish water. Voltea's CapDI systems are based on a single technology platform, which allows for variable salt removal, and is scalable across water volumes ranging from a few milliliters per minute to hundreds of cubic meters per hour. This flexibility means CapDI can be used in an array of applications, from residential white goods to large industrial cooling towers.

Voltea's technology has been recognized by numerous awards including best new technology award at the Global Water Summit, most creative company in Europe by CNBC, The Artemis Top 50 of water technology companies and the 2011 Global Cleantech 100.

Media Contact:

On-site Contact:

Jen Manswell

Andy Larsen

Pentair Residential Filtration

Boelter + Lincoln PR

262/518-4358 (office)

414/271-0101 x119 (office)

262/745-6675 (mobile)

414/840-0891 (mobile)


SOURCE Pentair, Inc.