One proven effective way to reduce fouling does not rely on removing the accumulated dirt at set intervals, but on designing the hydrodynamic conditions inside the membrane to prevent or minimize accumulation in the first place. During the earlier stages of development in membrane technology, rotating or vibrating units have been tried, as well as membranes with pulsating feed flows. All of these designs increased energy demand. That is why a new approach was adopted, involving helical structures to alter the fluid flow. Early results were promising and included a reported flux increase of up to 69 percent.
Pentair successfully introduced its Helix technology to optimize productivity and long-term membrane performance. The flux-enhancing technology reduces fouling and saves energy. It does so by preventing the buildup of foulants into a cake layer, which would otherwise quickly reduce the hydraulic permeability of membranes.