Sunday, April 27, 2008
A team from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has come up with a way to combine windmills and desalination for a cheaper cost than the currently used process. The current method involves using the windmill to produce electricity, which is then stored and later used to drive a pump for reverse osmosis. Delfts new method involves using the wind power directly to power a high pressure pump to push water through a membrane using 60 bars of pressure. The Delft option is cheaper because of the large cost gap between water storage and electricity storage. The windmills used in the Delft installation are very large and normally used for irrigation purposes. It is estimated that one windmill could produce 5 to 10 m^3 of fresh water a day, enough water for a village of 500.