In Chicago, I produce films, television, commercials, advertiser-supported free compilation CDs and DVDs, and other items of political and artistic interest. Thank you for tuning in, and be sure to check out my website

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Merging Desalinization Plants with Windmills to Solve World Water Crises

I have an idea that might lessen the pressures facing the Israeli/Palestinian peace process. Israel has a water policy of taking most of the water for itself. This has left Palestinians along the Gaza Strip, in particular, to have to dig wells for their water needs (cooking, drinking, cleaning and crop irrigation). Unfortunately the water is very brackish (salty), which causes all sorts of problems, from kidney disease to soil degredation.

To help solve this I have an idea. How feasible is it to design and build a micro desalinization facility that derives its electric power from windmills, the type of 3-story-tall windmills found on rural windfarms?

Do some of these micro desalinization plants/kits already exist? And could they be designed to operate with minimal maintenance? By pairing windmills with desalinization kits into a nearly autonomous package it seems that many of the worlds water problems could be solved.

Has anyone ever done any research on this? Figures would have to be calculated on how much energy is collected from these windmills in comparison to how much energy it takes to purify a unit of brackish water. If this is a feasible idea a very profitable business could emerge in setting up these devices all around the third world. But more importantly, they would do so much in helping raise standards of living and create an atmosphere for peace.

Excerpt from letter with desalinization expert John Tonner of

It was good talking to you. Thank you for all of the information. I am glad to know that a more energy efficient saltwater distillation process has not been developed for economic reasons, and not because it is an engineering impossibility. I really would enjoy staying in contact with and perhaps play a role in bringing such a device to market, and furthermore, seeing how perhaps such a device could be paired with an electricity generating windmill.

I also have a feeling that dynamics in the world are changing. Western world governments are beginning to make the connection between stability in the African and Middle Eastern village with stability not only in the stock market, but with security on the streets of New York City. The point to where a demand for energy efficient desalinization through the distillation process is quickly coming upon us. Cheap and reliable freshwater resources would raise the standards of living for many third world peoples while at the same time lessening prospects for war and conflict.

Excerpt from email sent to Alfa Laval, desalinization device manufacturer:

I have an idea for merging electric windmill-power with energy efficient and transportable micro-desalinization devices. I understand that Alfa Laval installs saltwater distillation devices on large sea-going vessels, but that since the heat energy to distill the saltwater is a by-product from the ship's engines, incentive is not designed into the desalinization devices to make them more energy efficient. My questions then are this? Is this is true? Could saltwater distillation devices be more energy efficient? And could they be designed on a smaller scale, made to operate on electricity generated from windmills? I am trying to discover the potential in this because I feel fresh water access in the third world could do much to raise living standards and remove some of the precursors to terrorism. If you can be convinced of the association between poor drinking water, low standards of living and terrorism, then I am sure you can also see how world governments would be interested in autonomous desalinization distillers that could help offer a solution. With that, I would love to discuss with some of your engineers how such devices could be feasible and brought to market.

> Dear mr. Richardson Seng
> Re. your message
> We have some years ago made one desalination unit of the type VVC for
> hook-up to a windmill.This unit is installed in the Canary islands. The
> unit capacity was 50 m3/day. The VVC unit (Vacuum Vapour Compressor) is
> driven with a mechanical compressor and the electrical consumption is
> typical (depends on the set-up) 9 - 14 kwh/m3 produced distillate.
> Please return if this is of any interest, and I will connect you with
> the most correct person in Alfa Laval.
> Best regards
> Jens Bekker Nielsen
> Group Manager
> Water Desalination Group
> Alfa Laval Copenhagen A/S - Maskinvej 5 - DK-2860 Søborg - Denmark
> Phone: +45 39536000 - Direct Phone: +45 39536440 - Fax: +45 39536578
> Mobile Phone: +45 40107663 - E-mail:


Post a Comment

<< Home