Solar-powered, village-scale electrodialysis water desalination

Across much of India the groundwater is naturally brackish, making it unpleasant and often unhealthy to drink. Yet millions of people, particularly in remote villages without access to the electrical grid, have no other option.

This project focuses on designing a village-scale desalination systems for rural India, with the goal of providing reliable access to clean drinking water. Utilizing a unique small-scale photovoltaic powered electrodialysis system, this technology has the potential to fill a large gap in the Indian water market.

Our approach is to design direct-drive photovoltaic (PV) electrodialysis (ED) water purification systems appropriate for small-scale applications, which can provide a scalable, efficient, and sustainable solution for clean drinking water. We aim to design off-grid PV-ED desalination systems that are price-competitive with on-grid reverse osmosis systems of similar capacity. By expanding desalination into off-grid or limited grid areas, this technology has the potential to fill a large gap in the Indian water market.

This project won the USAID Desalination Prize competition in April 2015, and a pilot system was installed in the Indian village of Chelluru in January 2017. One additional pilot system is currently being prepared for deployment to Gaza in mid-2017.

+ Project Media


Thesis: Justification of village scale photovoltaic powered electrodialysis desalination systems for rural India (Natasha Wright)

 
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