Solar Hybrid Desalination System

Two researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru have developed a solar hybrid desalination system that works for saline and brackish water.

How it works?

The instrument desalinates sea water by using flash evaporation and subsequent condensation. At normal atmospheric pressure, evaporation of water requires more energy than flash evaporation. In flash evaporation, pressure inside the evaporation chamber is varied such that water can evaporate at any temperature, not just at 100 degrees. The system used solar concentrators to supply the energy required for flash evaporation in raising the temperature inside the evaporation chambers. Later water is pumped to chambers by using photovoltaic panels as a source of energy. The instrument could hold between 3 and 4 litres for treatment.

Construction of traditional desalination plants involves huge investment and is unaffordable in developing countries. The use of fossil fuels in desalination plants results in environmental damage also. The success of this new solar based desalination system promises to solve the issue of clean drinking water in coastal areas where sea water and sun light are freely available.

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