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Israeli solution uses sunlight for desalination


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  • 1. Israeli Solution Uses Sunlight For Desalination( )April 22, 2013, category: Cleantech,Environment,Hi-Tech,Solar PowerThe latest water-tech idea out of Israel is a solar device that provides clear drinking water with noneed for infrastructure or electricitySunlight is concentrated on the SunDwater dish so it doesn’t need a large footprint.Photo by: Israel21c.orgThousands of years ago, sailors would spread seawater in flat beds aboard ship to let the sun evaporateit to separate out the salt. The same principle is behind a modern Israeli technology that relies on sunpower to distill clean water for drinking and agriculture.“About 97 percent of the world’s water is saltwater or polluted water,” says Shimmy Zimels, CEO ofJerusalem-based SunDwater. That is why some 750 million people in 45 countries need to drill expensivewells, buy bottled water or even use contaminated water despite the huge health risks.SunDwater’s solar-powered distiller, about to hit the market, is targeted at these populations —particularly in Africa, South America and parts of Asia. It’s a “green,” low-cost, low-maintenance systemthat converts dirty or salty water into potable water without any need for infrastructure or an externalenergy source.The water is pumped into the unit, which is outfitted with a four-square-meter (43-square-foot) roundphotovoltaic dish that concentrates the sunbeams for fast evaporation. The water vapor flows into acylinder where it gets condensed back into freshwater.The device was invented by Zimels’ childhood friend, product developer Shimon Ben-Dor, during theIsraeli drought of 2009. A pre-market operational unit, set up in a sunny industrial park not far from theDead Sea, produces 400 liters of clean water per day — five times the rate of similar systems. Severalunits could be linked to create a water farm, and a much larger version also is planned.“This concept took several directions before Shimon decided to try getting heated water to evaporate andgo back to its original molecular structure, which is what happens when it rains and the water evaporatesup to the clouds,” Zimels tells ISRAEL21c. “His concept was to replicate what nature does.”New water is constantly pumped back into the closed system as the water evaporates, Zimels adds.“There is no need for electricity. We are just using nature to improve nature itself, not creating newenvironmental problems.”
  • 2. While in Israel the chronic shortage of freshwater has mostly been addressed with desalination plants,this expensive solution is not practical for larger countries with spread-out populations.Accordingly, customers in India, Madagascar, Nigeria and other African countries have expressed interestin the product. SunDwater is working with WaterWays, an Israeli water consultancy for rural regions, toget the technology to areas of need in the most efficient manner.Source