Scientists are turning salt water into the drinking water by using the sustainable solar power. It works well and energy efficient. The oldest method for converting fresh water from salt water is the distillation process. Salt water is first boiled and then steam is collected and made to pass through the condensing coil. But it was energy inefficient because the amount of water required for boiling and producing steam adds to fuel costs.
Further, the latest technology for water desalination takes place through membrane distillation, where the boiled salt water is made to flow from one side of a porous membrane. Further, the cold water is made to pass from the other side. But the energy costs are still more because heat loss is more in this process. However, the energy requirements are less compared to the traditional distillation. Thus, we are going to discuss how to convert the salt water into drinking water using solar power.
How it Works
The demand for global freshwater is increasing day by day in many parts of the world. In future, most of the people will face freshwater scarcity due to the increasing demand for the water and their supplies. However, salt water is available in abundant quantity. That’s why scientists have made the technology that could convert the salt water into fresh water with less energy utilization using the solar power. Here, we will discuss how solar power converts the salt water into drinking water.
Solar Distillation: By using the process, it is possible to produce drinking water economically from small units as well as large ones. The cost of water produced from a medium sized is less than 3 Euro per cubic meter.
The working principle is simple. Salt Water is added to an upper channel in controlled amounts. From there, it starts falling over wicks and a black color observer through the collector. A part of the water starts evaporating due to the energy of the sun and the steam condense under the glass cover. Both the condensation runs into the channel. The untreated water is collected in front of it and it is diverted outside of the collector.
Although it looks simple to understand, the development process requires solutions to different problems. Use of seawater requires a special alloy. Also, use of stainless alloy for all the components is necessary.
Location of Solar Desalination
Many desalination plants are established in countries like Saudi Arabia because of the scarcity of the drinking water. They use waste heat generated as a byproduct of the oil-fired electricity generating plant. This means that the energy needed for desalination is free of cost.
The desalination process is provided with the large cluster of sunlight-concentrating mirrors. But the installation of mirrors would be expensive. A location should be like where the maximum amount of sunlight can reach on the solar panel.
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This technology is a boon for the people who are residing in the countries like Saudi Arabia where drinking water is not available in abundant. But the oil and gas are cheaper. Qatar has established several thermal based desalination plants with the money they got by selling gas to the European country.
There are still 1.3 billion people with insufficient drinking water supplies and 13,000 people die each day from the illness related to the drinking water. This leads to a situation in the poorer countries where people risk their health and their lives due to the lack of money. Solar distillation plants have already been around for a number of years for desalination of seawater.
That’s all about How to convert Salt Water into Drinking Water using Solar Power. Further, you can get more information about this article from our website chogm2009.