THE Bureau of Patents of the Intellectual Property Office has awarded a patent to geothermal leader Energy Development Corp. (EDC) for its on-line Steam Purity Monitoring system.

The system, developed by EDC’s geoscientists and technical services engineers, and installed in the company’s project sites since 1996, provides quick, reliable and continuous real-time data of geothermal steam supplied during normal plant operations for immediate response to system upsets.

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“We are proud of this very first patented invention of the company because it proves the world-class ingenuity and expertise of EDC in geothermal production. The on-line steam purity monitoring system is another EDC innovation that makes our operations more efficient, cost-effective and safe,” EDC president and chief operating officer Richard Tantoco said.

Before the technology was developed, EDC relied on the manual method involving a five-man shifting crew to conduct the sampling of steam condensate. The data would be available only after 24 hours.

Since EDC implemented the on-line steam purity monitoring system, it has displaced between P31 million to P52 million in annual operating expenses and realized gross savings of up to P314 million from 1996 to 2005.

Tantoco added that EDC has pending patent applications for four other technologies it has developed through the years.

“These are the results of our long-term commitment to make our operations truly world-class... Our experience in managing five geothermal project sites for the past 34 years has enabled us to study various situations and problems related to resource management and invent technologies to address them.”

EDC owns and operates geothermal steamfields in Leyte, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Sorsogon and North Cotabato with a combined capacity of 1,199 megawatts (MW), as well as the 701.5-MW Unified Leyte, 192.5-MW Palinpinon, 106-MW Mindanao and 49-MW Northern Negros geothermal power plants. (PR)