Salt Water Becomes Drinkable With Use of Solar

We all know water is a resource we cannot live without. No doubt, the drought in our state is coming to the forefront of discussions and concerns more. The need for water is so important that Governor Jerry Brown recently ordered mandatory water restrictions for California. By his order, there is to be a 25% reduction on most local water supply agencies (which serve 90% of California residents), and some agencies will even have to reduce water usage by 35% over the coming year. See our recent blog post on the topic here.

A brilliant group from MIT has been attempting to solve water shortage in inventive ways. A recent competition for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) encouraged individuals to create a desalination solution that could fit three criteria, including it being a cost-effective, environmentally sustainable, and an energy-efficient solution.

The MIT group proposed a solution that charges batteries by solar power, and the batteries then power a system to perform electrodialysis. The method uses the natural property of salt, which holds a slightly electric charge, to separate the salt from the water when an electric current is applied. Eliminating the salt allows the water to be used for irrigation for crops and as drinking water. Additionally, the group added a UV light to disinfect water as it passes through the system. The system is entirely powered by solar panels.

The system was tested by running 24 hours at a time, which removed salt from 2,100 gallons of water. More testing needs to be done, but these great minds may have a great solution for years to come and developing countries where water shortages are much more drastic than ours in California.

This is just another example of the power of solar electricity and what it can do for our environment. To find out how you can be green and save green with solar, give us a call today! (916) 853-2700.

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