Solar desalination plant should help withstand drought in Africa


Solar desalination plant should help withstand drought in Africa

On the campus of the University of Namibia a sustainable installation for the desalination of seawater has been put into use. The technology can become an important tool to help mitigate the impact of a dry climate. After all, the installation works on the basis of solar power. As a result, remote dry areas that are difficult to reach with traditional energy supplies can also be supplied with vital water.

Namibia is the driest country in the African sub-Sahara. The country has been moaning for years due to a lack of rain under heavy drought, which resulted in particularly heavy food shortages. The country is therefore looking for solutions to help absorb the impact of the drought.

Desalination of seawater can be a solution, but this appears to be a particularly expensive method. However, Solar Water Solutions from Finland, in collaboration with the universities of Nambia and Turku, has developed a system to set up an affordable desalination. The desalination plant is mounted in a container that is linked to solar modules. These modules must provide the electricity needed to initiate and keep the seawater desalination process going.

3.500 liter of water per hour

The installation on the campus of the University of Namibia will be used for the irrigation of a garden of trees that must remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The system offers the possibility to desalinate 3,500 liters of water per hour. There is no energy cost involved in that process. The installation also requires no batteries.

The developers see numerous applications for the installation to provide drinking water to communities and grow crops. “These achievements can contribute to food safety and energy supply,” says Kenneth Matengu, vice-rector of the University of Namibia. “At the same time, technology also offers the opportunity to help mitigate the impact of climate change.”

Cost savings >70%

Solar Water Solutions technology is one of the first desalination plants that can operate 100% on renewable energy. The installation not only ensures desalination, but also removes bacteria, chemical products, viruses and other impurities.

“Over the entire life cycle of the installation, one can count on cost savings of more than 70 percent over conventional systems,” says Antti Pohjola, chief executive of Solar Water Solutions. “After all, there are no energy costs. Nor should investment be made in fossil fuels. ”

Pohjola emphasizes that decentralized desalination systems using solar power could mean a revolution in regions threatened with a lack of water or energy supply. On small islands, for example, the technology could be interesting for desalination plants with a polluting diesel drive.

Source: Express Business

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