Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Water desalination through wind energy

A German innovation allows water desalination that is completely based on environmentally-friendly wind energy without any energy loss and, hence significant savings in operational costs and space.
Water desalination through wind energy
An SME with long experience in the field of wind energy has developed a novel desalination technology for seawater and/or brackish water. On the grounds of the Mechanical Vapour Compression (MVC) method for desalination a wind-powered desalting plant was built. Alternatively, the technology could be utilised with the aid of other methods, such as Reverse Osmosis (RO).

The plant constitutes a basic part of the tower of the Wind Energy Converter (WEC), whose rotational energy directly initiates the operation of a compressor through a gear. Temperature and pressure levels of the water/steam are then raised to required values, allowing evaporation to take place. Evaporation of water leads to condensation of fresh water, leaving salt behind.

The MVC method exploits the 75% of the required energy directly from the wind turbine and 25% from the WEC through an adapted generator. Thereby, the process does not rely on any conversion of wind energy to electricity and then to mechanical energy, thus eliminates any relevant energy losses. Additionally, no separate power conversion plant is required, which is a major saving on investment and operational costs.

The WEC tower integrates all functional components of the desalting unit, including the seawater reservoir, filters, pump units, compressor, evaporator and drinking water storage tank. Industrial partners are sought within the wind energy and/or desalination sectors for a joint development of the technology.
Record Number: 82309 / Last updated on: 2006-01-09
Domain: Energy