Solar-powered water desalination tech for off-grid applications
Author: Beatriz Santos
Boreal Light, a German technology company, has developed a PV-powered water desalination machine for off-grid applications. The Winture Planet Cube machines have capacities from 1,000 liters per hour to 50,000 liters per hour. The size of the solar array needed to power these machines is a function of three factors: their capacity, the salinity of the water, and the depth of the borehole which water is extracted from. The technology uses seawater, wastewater, brackish water, or surface area as inputs. “On average, a machine of 2,000 liters per hour needs a PV array with an installed capacity of 11 kW, for most projects we developed in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Hamed Beheshti, CEO of Boreal Light told pv magazine. Other projects include a 15,000 liter per hour machine in Iraq using a 90 kW PV system. The solution uses 460 W monocrystalline silicon PV panels from DAH solar. The excess water is usually used for fish farming, irrigation, and sanitation. The company also uses the electricity excess for charging electrical cargo bikes used for distributing water, and for charging battery banks of nearby schools.The water desalination machines employ a low-pressure reverse osmosis membrane with a lifetime of three to five years and are built to last 25 years, according to Beheshti.