Terraintegra promotes Solar desalination technology because it will bring potable water to the driest parts of the Globe with little energy requirement and a positive impact on Planet resources.
An associate company has revisited the oldest desalination technology known, i.e. distillation, and improved upon it. In fact, the Earth constantly regenerates its land by a process of Solar desalination. The company uses Solar energy which is concentrated to heat seawater. The seawater in turn is pumped in a circular motion to constantly evaporate, cool and condense into fresh water.
Energy (usually electricity) required to operate a desalination plant comprises 64% of all plant costs. Solar energy provides enough energy to allow a desalination facility that can be energy positive (i.e. it requires no outside electricity supply). The Solar thermal energy is re-circulated and reused repeatedly. Surplus heat is generated which is used to drive a turbine generator to produce electrical power. Alternatively, the excess thermal energy can be fed into existing power plants and improve their efficiency.
Energy independence allows the design of a plant that has dramatically lower running costs and lower emissions. The construction, operation and maintenance costs of Solar plants are very competitive when compared to reverse osmosis. A land based plant is producing fresh potable water for US$ 0.11 per 1,000 litres.
Plants can be constructed on-shore and off-shore. Offshore plants can have high production volumes of up to 500 million litres of potable water per day from a site occupying less than a half hectare of sea area. As the technology uses solar energy to operate it is therefore not suited to temperate climates (i.e. North and South of 37 Degrees Latitude)