STAND-ALONE SYSTEM TO PRODUCE DRINKING WATER BY MEANS OF SOLAR ENERGY
Researchers from the University of Alicante’s research group in applied electrochemistry and electrocatalysis have developed a stand-alone system for desalinating and treating water through electrodialysis. The system is directly powered by solar energy and can be applied in off-grid areas. Designed only for desalinating water, it is a sustainable, eco-friendly technology, as its energy is supplied by solar photovoltaic panels in a CO2 -free process, thus not contributing to climate change.
According to research group director Vicente Montiel, “the new system requires no batteries and has none of the economic and environmental costs involved in managing empty batteries. Furthermore, it can be adapted and applied for treating water of many different origins, such as seawater, wells containing brackish water, treatment plants, industrial processes, etc., which makes it particularly wellsuited to remote, off-grid areas.” In this sense, this equipment can be employed to obtain clean water for human consumption, irrigation, street cleaning and others, both when there is no energy grid available and after natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, or fires. Among other advantages, this new technology makes it possible to recover approximately 80%– 90% of all treated water. Besides, it makes the most of the maximum energy supplied by panels when exposed to sunlight, and its availability is also high, as it enables treated water accumulation for periods in which renewable sources do not provide enough energy.