XXL-REFRESH is built upon the results obtained by the REFRESH project (GA 262494), in which the project team demonstrated the feasibility of transportation of large quantities of fresh water by the sea using modular flexible barges. The key innovation introduced by REFRESH is the use of open modular textile containers connected by extra-strong watertight zips and the use of an online monitoring system for the control of the container deformations during service using wireless communication system.
REFRESH culminated at the beginning of November 2012 with the successful transportation trial of 200 cubic metres freshwater payload with a 16 nautical miles sea voyage in the gulf of Souda, Crete. The next steps required to bring the innovation into the market comprise the manufacturing of a full-scale waterbag with a payload of 2.000 cubic metres and the conduction of demonstration voyages at different locations within Europe and outside. Technical activities covered by XXL-REFRESH include the design optimisation of the full-scale waterbag, implementing what learned during the trials in Crete, and the scaling up of the manufacturing processes for the manufacturing of one full-scale waterbag. Demonstration trials are included in the programme at two different locations in the Mediterranean Sea and outside, since the need for cost efficient and reliable technologies for fresh water transportation is global. Dissemination and exploitation activities are also included.
The consortium includes five partners from the former REFRESH project complemented by two new partners in charge of confectioning the full-scale waterbag and performing the water transport service.
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