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An autonomous and mobile water treatment plant powered by solar energy

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - WATLY (An autonomous and mobile water treatment plant powered by solar energy)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-10-31

WATLY project was conceived to provide a concrete technology answer to the following human needs:
• 1.1 billion people worldwide still do not have access to a safe source of drinking water, causing more than 4,200 deaths from water-related diseases every day;
• 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity and 5billion worldwide still have no access to internet .

Water and energy are both crucial to human well-being and sustainable socio-economic development. Therefore, the limited availability of these resources and the lack of provision of related services dramatically undermines health, limits education opportunities and reduces family’s potential to rise up out of poverty. In this worldwide context, the innovative solution proposed by WATLY addresses the increasing global demand for safe sources of drinking water and green off-grid electricity, by combining highly efficient photovoltaic panels with thermal energy production, used to desalinate and purify water in-situ (thus preventing waterborne diseases). In addition, WATLY system is equipped to provide internet connectivity and mobile chargers in remote areas.
WATLY is the first super computer, scalable, modular and greatly versatile stand-alone machine, designed to bring these 3 main services anywhere, but especially in rural or exotic locations in developing or under developed countries. Each unit is interconnected, allowing great versatility of machine learning for self-implementation, big data monitoring and MMI. We call this paradigm the Energy_net or Internet of Energy (see Figure 1).
The main goals to be achieved during this second period were:
I. the integration, testing and validation of the main modules composing the WATLY 3.0 pilot machine;
II. the implementation of promotional activities and the participation at a significant sectorial event where performing the live demo of the WATLY 3.0 machine;
III. the establishment of new partnerships aimed to supporting the industrialization process of the WATLY 3.0 manufacturing, and its future commercialization.

The first goal was reached between Bari and Pescara with a full accomplishment of all industrial challenges of manufacturing, assembling and pre-testing for every module of WATLY 3.0 (see Figure 2). The second goal was achieved with the pilot test and world preview of WATLY 3.0 performed at Barcolana 49 event in Oct 2017 where thousands of people exploited the machine features (see Figure 3). The third goal was pursued by finalizing the first WATLY 3.0 unit in synergy with PRIMICERI and LOVENERGI. Moreover, we are currently establishing new partnerships in Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Mexico, Denmark and other countries to start sales and dislocated manufacturing. We also established partnerships with three Italian universities for the improvement of WATLY technological and infrastructural innovations to develop a new concept of green smart building (see Figure 4).

The main achievements obtained during the second period can be summarized as follows:
Infrastructural: we fine-tuned the wings modules with vacuum tubes, built an upgraded design of the central modules and main infrastructure, and the two interface modules where the main video-walls are located. Then, we renovated the mechanical, electrical and thermodynamic systems, integrating the Hive and W-Light, upgrading the PV and thermal systems as well as the water purification system (see Figure 5).
Telecommunication and interactivity: we improved all telecommunication software and hardware, the user recognition, identification and other HMIs, and developed the automations and MMIs within WATLY 3.0. The web app, Lively, was also highly improved and then tested (see Figure 6).
Testing, pilot and transportation: testing the whole infrastructure via water and land, the user experience and the interaction with the machine, the W-Tank and W-Light stations and related main operations, the WATLY Lively App, website and social media (see Figure 7).
Business plan, market analysis, strategies and applications: development of an open source business approach parallel to a delocalized network of ventures, heading towards the production of WATLY 4.0 and its multi-services technological environment. Definition of a hybrid business model based on sales of hardware and services, and spreading of Lively philanthropy. Impact analysis on both urban and rural deployment scenarios, potential international market opportunities and related competitors analysis. Definition of an industrialization and commercialization strategy comprising of production and distribution operations, economic and financial forecasts. An intensive communication campaign was also performed during the entire second period.
WATLY 3.0 is a technological unit providing many services integrated. It can be considered the building block for an advanced smart infrastructure with much lower cost for end buyers and expenses for manufacturing, transportation and maintenance.
Several features differentiate WATLY 3.0 from other solutions, critically boosting the general competitiveness: different synergic technologies automated and managed by A.I smart devices integrated within the machine, high-tech interface, advanced HMI and MMI systems, reliability of the infrastructure for +1/2 decades, Zero heat loss, Zero waste and Zero emissions, energy co-generation, and absence of filters or chemicals for water purification.
In this context, we have analysed several market scenarios from 1 to 10 years ahead, and considering circumstances with urgent emergency need and those with massive investments for the development of new infrastructures. As result, we identified some fitting situations where to market WATLY unit: the BRICS development programmes and the One Belt One Road Initiative (OBOR) for the reconstruction of a second Silk Route between China and Italy. In this view, we started discussion tables with key persons for future collaborations and partnerships (see Figure 8).
After testing WATLY 3.0 and identifying further improvements addressed to fine-tune some machine features, we expect that the first set of pilot units deployed will be very successful. In particular, we can identify two different types of installations with consequent impact:
1. Poor communities in infrastructures and resources: the machine will uplift the cultural and health conditions of the community by deploying clean and constant resources and available access to the web and educational programs as well. We expect an increase in the level of alphabetization, online graduations or abroad studies, as well as of local projects and development initiatives. The WATLY network will also attract investors on each community through our Lively Philanthropy initiative.
2. Rich communities in infrastructures and resources: the machine will provide a fitting solution for this particular situation (touristic locations and villages, museums, hotels, cities, parks, amusement parks, protected areas) where people will exploit services daily. In this context, WATLY 3.0 will avoid the investment in infrastructure in favour over a more suitable stand-alone off-the-grid vending machine.
assembly of WATLY 3.0 modules in Trieste
smart interface of WATLY 3.0 (from left to right: W-Tank, videowall and W-Light)
WATLY 3.0 pilot test in Trieste (October 2017)
WATLY 3.0 final assembling in our industrial facility
OBOR initiative roadmap (from China to Italy)
WATLY 3.0 at Barcolana 49 in Trieste (October 2017)
WATLY 3.0 during assembly in our industrial facility
scheme of WATLY and HAABitat operational integrations