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Solar power to convert salt water to fresh water through desalination?

Imagine a world where water is abundant and can be sourced from the oceans and seas as and when required. Wouldn’t that be a boon to mankind?

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Every life form on earth needs water in one or the other manner. Survival is one part of the water requirement and living is another. If there is water available, is it in abundance? This is the question that needs answering. Cities, states and countries, right from California to Japan are looking at creative ways to save and conserve water.

Recently as a part of an USAID project, a prize winning entry (Desal prize, USD 140,000) displayed the ingenuity of addressing the water need. The group from MIT and Jain Irrigation Systems developed a solar power generator using solar panels and batteries that in turn powered a desalination system using the electrodialysis method. This method involves removing salt particles from water using a small electrical charge. In addition to salt removal, the team also integrated a UV light device to ensure that the water is completely disinfected. The water thus coming out is fit to be used on crops.

Using solar power for desalination is a new and a dynamic idea that can bring water to many areas where the crisis rules the roost. This system was tested in New Mexico (Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility) for over 24 hours and desalinated about 2,100 gallons of sea water.

This system can be developed with scalability to address the needs of the water starved across the world.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • wmi May 4, 2015, 7:18 am

    I hope this technology will be available for Nothern part of Kenya which is very dry and has massive underground salty water. Great reading.