All crazy about Schenker desalinators: so you have fresh water and respect the sea

Throughout its 20-year corporate life, Schenker has invested in research and development to provide its customers with the best solutions in terms of efficiency and technology. The Company has specialized in the production of energy recovery desalinators by experimenting with an environmentally sustainable solution that has simplicity of operation and reliability as its distinguishing features. The company’s processes (which holds 4 patents) are governed by stringent regulations as the company has held ISO 9000 certification for 4 years. Schenker has also obtained ISO 9001:2015 certification from international certification body Bureau Veritas.

The benefits of having a Schenker watermaker on board

Every self-respecting sailor knows how important it is to have a good supply of fresh water aboard their boat. The installation of a system capable of meeting this need by filtering and treating salt water from the sea is an increasingly common practice even on boats of small size. This is due to multiple aspects that also satisfy different conditions than the immediate need for water reserve.

Think, for example, of how much lighter any recreational boat can be during a cruise without the aggravation of significant amounts of fresh water loaded into tanks or the presence of baskets of bottles stowed in lockers. The advantage of being able to avoid such practices is evidenced in limiting the displacement of the boat in cruising trim, whether it is powered or, more importantly, sailed by sailing with only the buoyancy of the wind.

Zen 100

Based on this philosophy, shipyards and designers also keep this unavoidable necessity in mind when designing with a view to properly structuring functional tanks for the water reserve of the boat to be built.

Another obvious advantage is related to the independence that the desalinator provides during the cruise making it no longer necessary to return to port to refill water at the dock. Finally, the availability of fresh water that the desalinator provides is practically infinite, on-board comfort is significantly increased by avoiding rationing during the cruise.

Consuming less: the patent “Energy Recovery System”

The main feature of Schenker desalinators lies in obtaining fresh water with reduced energy expenditure. The innovation of the system lies in the patented “Energy Recovery System” device. As an alternative to the high-pressure pumps used to operate conventional desalinators, this system amplifies the pressure of a normal low-pressure pump (installed upstream of the device) and fully recovers the return hydraulic energy from the reverse osmosis membranes. This type of low-pressure pump also possesses the advantage of making the operation of the desalinator extremely quiet with total absence of vibration. The water, pushed by the low-pressure pump through the prefilters, is then conveyed into the heart of the system, which consists of carbon cylinders inside which concentric pistons of different cross sections compress the liquid at high pressure, enabling the phenomenon of reverse osmosis and thus the production of fresh water. The fresh water produced is naturally stored in the vessel’s tanks and then used by the utilities on board.

The desalinator does not collect the removed salt internally, which is instead conveyed overboard via a discharge stream.

The desalinator compartments in contact with seawater are made almost entirely of carbon fiber or acetal resin and are virtually corrosion-free.

Relative to components, all potentially wear-prone components such as o-rings and conventional hydraulic seals have been eliminated. The sealing and sliding elements are composed with innovative pads made with nano-technologies. Such materials exhibit as much as 15 times the abrasion resistance of steel.

Schenker, lower power consumption

The Energy Recovery System enables very high energy efficiency. It has been verified that power consumption is lower compared to conventional desalinators by up to 80%. Taking into consideration that the average power consumption of a Schenker desalinator is only 4 watts per liter of fresh water produced, only 240 watts of electricity is needed to obtain, for example, 60 liters/hour of fresh water. Normal engine recharging is thus largely sufficient to replenish the energy consumed, ruling out the need for the help of the genset. It is then possible to mount the watermaker on board so that it is powered directly from the batteries even in the absence of the generator set.

Schenker’s medium-to-large capacity models are also available with 230 Volts power supply. Again, the reduced power consumption still allows smaller gensets to be installed with obvious cost savings and considerable environmental benefit.

In addition, the Energy Recovery System is designed specifically for marine applications and is made of materials that are completely impervious to saltwater. Moving parts are minimized due to the patented solution that eliminates the need for pilot valves.

Engineer Riccardo Verde, CEO of Schenker Watermakers.

It can also be said that environmentally friendly, because of the low power consumption, this type of watermaker is to be considered truly “environmentally friendly.”

So ZEN takes up less space

The company chose the term “ZEN” to identify the new series of products that are characterized by simplicity, lightness, and minimalism. Technology and functionality combined with design. A new range of desalinators with a revolutionary design was born with these guidelines.

Despite its minimalist design, the machine is identified by its essentiality and flexibility of installation. It also represents a breakthrough in the field of desalinators because of the design study refined in the design phase. Pleasing look for a system that is usually intended to be inconspicuous on board, hidden in technical rooms or engine rooms. The very small and extra slim dimensions as well as the lowered shape are ideal for mounting with few positioning constraints, such as horizontally on the bottom of a locker or vertically on a wall of a technical room almost like a picture. Lightweight, very quiet and thus suitable for installation on board even the smallest boats.

schenker desalinators

The machines, thanks to the energy recovery system, are extremely efficient and have a significantly lower purchase cost than all other systems of equal capacity on the market today. The goal was achieved through sophisticated design with 3D software that enabled optimal integration of each component by eliminating unnecessary parts with the primary goal of achieving the best efficiency and reliability. To date they are available in 3 models: ZEN 30, 50 and 100. Coming soon is the more powerful 150-liter/hour model for an electrical consumption of only 600 watts. As with the other models in the range, the dimensions will be extremely compact-it will be the watermaker with the best capacity-to-size ratio on the market to date. ZEN is a patented product.

Schenker watermaker controls it all from the dashboard

The use of Schenker desalinators is extremely simple as no adjustment is required since each model is equipped with automatic pressure calibration. Therefore, no direct manual access to the desalinator is necessary. All functions are performed remotely by means of an easy-to-understand electronic panel that can be installed on the bridge or below deck.


Under development is a new “touch” control intended for the medium/high range of watermakers. Through a panel installed in the console, complete control of the machine and implementation of advanced functions such as setting the liters of fresh water to be produced, automatic and periodic washing as well as digital readout of all machine parameters will be allowed.

Schenker Watermakers

Via Ferrante Imparato, 499/501 – Condominio Genesis, 80146 Naples

Tel. +39 081.5593505 – +39 081.5590931 – Fax +39 081.5597372


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