Energy Efficiency

Published on February 16th, 2008 | by Joe Mohr

13

Low-Energy Water Desalination From Seawater Greenhouse

February 16th, 2008 by  

greenhouse_wl_2423.jpgThreehundred twenty-six million trillion! It sounds like a number I would come up with as a kid, say, in reference to the number of things I find disgusting about my sister, or the number of reasons I need a new bike, or the number of mosquito bites I got on a weekend camping trip. But, it turns out, 326 million trillion is a real number. It happens to be (approximately—because who could count them all?) the number of gallons of water on our wonderful planet (Earth). That’s an overwhelming, impressive and — when you learn that 98% of that water is ocean water, and therefore too salty to consume, or use for irrigation — frustrating figure!

In these times where climate chaos has caused more frequent severe droughts, and our population continues to grow (read: consume water) at an awesome rate, people are becoming more and more concerned with water conservation. Humanity finds itself increasingly at a loss for freshwater while roughly 315 million trillion gallons of unusable seawater taunts us from our shores.

Sure, desalination plants are becoming more common. They are very expensive, however, and so energy intensive that they only further contribute to the climate change they are attempting remedy (thereby, joining corn-based ethanol as the two largest non-solutions to our climate problems).

Fear not my fellow water-loving earthlings! There is an even better way to remove the salt from salt water: a Seawater Greenhouse! This UK-based company explains the process as one that:

uses seawater to cool and humidify the air that ventilates the greenhouse and sunlight to distill fresh water from seawater. This enables the year round cultivation of high value crops that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to grow in hot, arid (conditions).

The overall process produces water at the energy cost of less than 3kWh/m3. I can think of 326 million trillion reasons to get excited about this solution! For more information on the Seawater Greenhouse visit www.seawatergreenhouse.com.

Image: Seawater Greenhouse, Tenerife, Canary Islands. Source: Seawater Greenhouse Gallery 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , ,


About the Author

is an Environmental/Political cartoonist for Planetsave, Elephant Journal, Wend Magazine, Twilight Earth, Ecopolitology, EcoSnobberySucks, and more... Joe also does a kids enviro-toon called Hank D and the Bee on EcoChildsPlay and NaturalPapa. Joe lives in University City, Missouri and spends his free time with his beautiful wife, enthusiastic daughter, and curious toddler of the same name. He also enjoys writing, drawing, painting, walking, biking, skateboarding, gardening, reading, listening to music, playing sports, and watching plays (especially the plays his wife's site-specific theatre company, Onsite Theatre puts on).   Visit Joe's online cartoon gallery at JoeMohrToons.com.



  • Marion Meads

    Using greenhouse method IS NOT EFFICIENT!!! It seems to be very capital intensive. Why is there a need for additional 3kWh of energy per m3 of water? Why not let the sun do it all alone? There are other more efficient desalination technology out there and are totally solar powered without additional electricity nor energy input. Can the author point out the solar energy use and the overall efficiency of the system? We know that greenhouse method has one of the least efficiency when it comes to desalination.

    • Roger Lambert

      They are growing crops in those greenhouses. And making fresh water. See the attraction?

  • Pingback: Teatro del Agua: The Seawater Greenhouse “That Can Change the World” | LumoSolar.com - Solar Power & Energy Information()

  • It’s comforting to know that, a) there are still trillions of gallons of water left in the sea, and b) we can soon start drinking it. I wonder what the dolphins will think.

    Seriously though, thanks for an eye-opening article, and one so full of hope.

  • It’s comforting to know that, a) there are still trillions of gallons of water left in the sea, and b) we can soon start drinking it. I wonder what the dolphins will think.

    Seriously though, thanks for an eye-opening article, and one so full of hope.

  • Marybeth

    This baby boomer is so grateful that the children of the baby boomers are rocking this subject to the forefront and taking care of their little boomlets and those to follow…you are never too old to learn or change!!

  • Marybeth

    This baby boomer is so grateful that the children of the baby boomers are rocking this subject to the forefront and taking care of their little boomlets and those to follow…you are never too old to learn or change!!

  • Kristen

    Great info, and very well written. 326 million trillion thanks to the people who work so hard at keeping us informed and making us all better global residents.

  • Kristen

    Great info, and very well written. 326 million trillion thanks to the people who work so hard at keeping us informed and making us all better global residents.

  • jeffrey landsberg

    great piece of info. thanks

  • jeffrey landsberg

    great piece of info. thanks

  • Some more resources about the Seawater Greenhouse can be found here. http://www.greenocean.org/

  • Some more resources about the Seawater Greenhouse can be found here. http://www.greenocean.org/

Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares