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    Case Studies Roche Molecular Systems – UET TECHNOLOGY


    Start Date:

    February 24th, 2017



    4300 Hacienda Dr, Pleasanton, CA 94588


    Cooling Tower System:

    2x Marley NC-756 cooling towers
    1,512 tons (2x 756 tons)


    Chiller System:

    3x Vilter water-cooled ammonia chillers
    1,600 tons (2x 400, 1x 800)


    UET Reactor Sizing:

    4x4 UET reactor set




    Roche Molecular Systems is a diagnostic division of Hoffman-La Roche which manufactures equipment for medical diagnostics. They focus on health care applications for physicians, hospitals, and consumers.


    The Pleasanton facility used traditional chemical water treatment. They also used a salt-based water softener prior to UET’s system in an effort to be more sustainable. They dealt with multiple issues regarding corrosion and bio-contamination. To that end, they sought out UET’s technology to further their environmental responsibilities by eliminating chemical treatment, removing softener reject (brine) and running higher cooling tower cycles to reduce blowdown, thereby saving water.

    Savings Feb – Dec 2016 vs. 2017

      2016 (Water Softener) 2017 (UET's treatment)
    Cycles 8.79 22.69
    Conductivity setpoint (µS/cm) 3,500 8,500
    Makeup (gallons) 2,075,635 1,882,320
    Blowdown (gallons) 235,922 82,972
    Chemical Treatment Cost $19,200 $0
    Salt for Softener (lbs/yr) 10,000 0
    0 %
    0 %
    0 %
    0 %



    Raw numbers from 2016 (with water softener) vs. 2017 (with UET) are as follows:

      2016 vs 2017 Raw Savings
    Makeup (gal) 193,315 9%
    Blowdown (gal) 152,950 65%

    Scaling the heat load of 2017’s cycles of concentration to match 2016’s evaporation, the savings are as follows:

      2016 vs 2017 Scaled Savings
    Water (gal) 151,088 7% MU, 64% BD

    Treatment in 2017 was done without the need for chemical treatment or salt, while also eliminating softener brine reject. Prior to UET’s treatment, Roche’s Pleasanton facility had to deal with scale, corrosion, and bio- contamination issues.


    Before UET (November 2016)

    Before UET (November 2016)


    Within two months, a visible decrease in bio-contamination and scale on wet surfaces can be seen on the cooling towers.

    Approach temperatures of the chiller system remained unchanged despite cycling much higher than water-softener levels, but without using the water softener.

    After using UET's technology (April 2017)


    2017 vs. Previous Years:

    Below is a table of water usage for 2015 and 2014 from February to July compared to 2017 (pre-water softener)

      2015 Raw Savings vs. 2017    
    Makeup (gal) 2,666,460 784,140 29%  
    Blowdown (gal) 479,731 396,759 83%  
    Cycles 5.56    
      2014 Raw Savings vs. 2017    
    Makeup (gal) 3,306,600 1,424,280 43%  
    Blowdown (gal) 859,373 776,401 90%  
    Cycles 3.85    

    True to Roche’s mission to sustainability, they have been increasing their water savings year by year.
    They have been decreasing the amount of water they evaporate despite later years showing higher temperatures.

    Scaling the heat load from 2017’s cycles of concentration to the previous year’s yield the following results:

      2015 vs 2017 Scaled Savings  
    Water (gal) 378,895 14% MU, 79% BD
      2014 vs 2017 Scaled Savings  
    Water (gal) 746,525 23% MU, 87% BD

    Water Composition (Averages):

      Makeup Water Basin Water 2016
    (Using softener)
    Basin Water 2017
    (Using UET's System)
    Conductivity (uS/cm) 350 - 680 3,500 8,130
    pH 8.2 9.1 8.5
    Total Hardness (ppm) 174 114 1800
    Chlorides (ppm) 162 720 1697
    Silica (ppm) 12 57 67
    Iron (ppm) 0.00 1.00 0.0
    Free Chlorine (ppm) 0.0 0.5 0.3

    Compared to 2016’s water softener, UET’s can cycle up much higher concentrations while more effectively treating bio-contamination and preventing scale without the use of chemicals or salt. There is no brine by-product, and function is not impeded by scale or corrosion.

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