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Airlines

Go with the flow

There have been many developments in waste/water system technology on-board commercial aircraft in recent times. Most of these developments are linked to increased complexity of the systems with respect to the communication between the equipment and system status indication, as Mario Pierobon finds
 

TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS

 

Torsten Böttger, Vice President Engineering and Dr Gerd Wedler, Head of System Engineering at Diehl Aviation, point out that new potable water circulation systems control both the water pressure and water flow by means of a new kind of potable water pump. “This system leads to no pressure loss, even for parallel use of various supplies, and symbolises a positive progress in water system technology,” they say. “Additionally, the development of disinfection applications for potable water systems is increasing to manage sterilisation during water circulation, without the collateral effect of neutralised bacteria. For example, the water treatment module for the Airbus A350 for high potable water quality manages the sterilisation continuously during the water circulation upon filling.”

 

“On the Airbus A350, a potable water treatment module has been introduced that uses ultra violet (UV) radiation to decrease the risk of microbiological contamination of the system,” says Jürgen Winkler, Aircraft System Engineer at Lufthansa Technik. “We expect less maintenance effort to disinfect the potable water system, thanks to extended interval. The benefit of the potable water treatment module is currently being validated.” One of the most important improvements from Boeing with regard to waste/water systems (WWS) is also the installation of a UV water treatment module. 

 

“This module is part of the Boeing 787 design. The UV water treatment module cleans the ground service water of any remaining disease organism during the potable water filling operation,” says Yannick Canagassabe, Cabin Engineer & Minor Repair CVE at Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M). “WWS have been fairly stable, with key step changes over the last few decades reducing weight, introducing redundancies and improving the overall reliability of the systems,” says Lamia Khaled, Director, Sales and Marketing for Lavatories and Water/Waste Systems at Rockwell Collins.

 

“In recent years, with the drive for a more connected aircraft, there has been a trend in introducing additional maintenance diagnostic and communication capabilities. This enables airlines to better track the WWS performance and have a better forecast around spares requirements, consequently reducing delays.” A significant amount of research and development is currently on fibre-plastic reinforced applications to save weight and costs – such as replacing titanium for waste tubes, metal for storage tanks and metal based toilet assemblies, according to Böttger and Wedler.

 

“Additionally, since 1977, the galley waste disposal units of various suppliers enable the disposal of small – partly – liquid galley waste directly into the aircraft’s waste tanks. Diehl Aviation’s Galley  Waste Disposal Unit (GWDU) is an innovative aerosol-air vectoring injection system, featuring a specific industrial design approach with a one-box architecture. The GWDU facilitates the disposal of a high amount of waste. For instance, the GWDU is able to dispose more than 2kg coffee grounds in a single flush. Not only the galley personnel profits from the speedy disposal, but also the airline due to the saving of rinsing water and thus of weight with each individual flush,” they say. >>

 


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