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ZHOU Ningyu, et al.
People's Daily Online
Source: China Daily
Device Offers End to Fresh Water Shortage
A new solar power collection and heating device could be used to turn salt water into fresh water at an unprecedented low cost, researchers said yesterday in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu Province.
The new invention, by scientists at the School of New Materials and New Energy in Hehai University (HHU) and Nanjing Fiberglass Research and Design Institute, has been reported in the local media.
According to Zhou Ningyu, a senior engineer with HHU, the new desalinating device consists primarily of a heliostat, which absorbs solar power and turns it into heat. The heat is then used to bring water to boiling point, and when vaporization occurs the salt becomes separated.
According to Zhou, the country currently has 20 desalination projects, which mainly use osmosis and electronic distilling technologies.
"These consume other resources, such as electricity and carbon, to produce fresh water. But our device makes use of solar power. The only costs are the heliostat system and the infrastructure construction. It is the most economical and eco-friendly desalination method invented so far," said Zhou.
Furthermore, a special heliostat, invented by a scientist in the team, costs only a quarter of the normal price but still generates the same amount of energy, Zhou told China Daily.
Zhou did not reveal the exact cost for fresh water production, but said it would definitely be much lower than the current technologies, which cost about 5-8 yuan (US$0.62-1) per cubic metre.
The water distilled by the new device meets the standard for drinking water and could be used in local houses, according to Zhou.
Zhou also revealed that salt companies are already interested in buying the salt produced, another form of economic return.
While they believe the system can be profitable, the scientists said they have not raised enough capital to put their design into large-scale production.
"The investment for a large-scale desalination project would be huge, and exceeds the capacity of ordinary individual enterprises," said Zhang Yaoming, a 63-year-old expert who led the research team.
Zhang said he is seeking financial support from relevant bureaus including the Ministry of Science and Technology.
He added that the abundant solar resources in China, if properly used, could equal "thousands of Three Gorges Power Plants."
Zhang said that he is confident of the future application of the new device in thirsty coastal areas in the country.
Listed among the driest countries in the world, two-thirds of China's cities are suffering from water supply shortages for domestic and industrial use.
According to the National Development and Reform Commission and other State-level agencies, desalinated sea water is expected to contribute 16 to 24 per cent of the water supply in coastal areas by 2010, with a daily capacity of up to 3 million cubic metres in 2020.
ZHANG Yaoming -- Patents
USP US7115851US US7203004
Abstract -- Heliostat devices are disclosed. A disclosed heliostat device comprises planar reflectors and their frame, an azimuth angle adjusting mechanism and an altitudinal angle adjusting mechanism, and a sunlight tracking sensor. This device can perform sun tracking and accurate projection in fixed direction, via the directed sensor mounted in the fixed projection direction to form multi-stage control sensors.
Directed reflection light collecting device with planar reflectors
Also published as: WO2005019723 // // CN1490556 // CN1204357
Abstract -- This invention relates to a directed reflection light collecting device with planar reflectors, wherein a number of planar reflectors are arranged on a frame in mutual parallel. This frame is rotatably supported via a transversal main turning shaft on the supports of an azimuth angle adjusting mechanism. The altitudinal angle adjusting mechanism drives the frame in a controlled manner causing the planar reflectors on it to move. In this invention, the altitudinal angle of a number of planar reflectors is synchronized via a simple frame structure so that they can always project the reflected sunlight in a substantially fixed direction into the given area in conjunction with the azimuth angle adjusting mechanism.
Directed reflection light collecting device with planar reflectors
Two-way-through solar glass vacuum heat collection tubes
Improved type connected hot machine-hot pump
Membrane distillation sea water desalination method
Multiple spherical face solar sea water desalination evaporation pool
Contact semicoductor capacitor pulse sea-water desalination plant
High-low pressure seawater desalination and sewage purification process
Sea-water bitter-salt-water desalination machine
Seawater desalination unit utilizing solar vacuum tube
Sea wave electricity generator and sea water distilling plant
Method and equipment for de-salt of crude oil
DOMESTIC SOLAR DESALINATION DEVICE
METHOD AND EQUIPMENT FOR DESALINATION OF SEA WATER BY NATURAL ENERGY
A DETECTING SOLAR LIGHTING MIRRORS APPARATUS
Solar energy high-temperature vacuum heat absorption and heat storage apparatus
Automatic sunlight following and lighting device
High temperature vacuum heat collecting device
ZHOU Junyun -- Patents
Negative pressure desalinator for seawater
Abstract --- The present invention relates to a negative pressure sea-water desalination machine. It mainly includes sea-water non-return valve, filter, regulation valve, sea-water booster pump, electromagnetic valve, sea-water precipitation tank, flashing chamber, liquefying pump, condenser, cooling tower, fresh water tank, vacuum pump, brine chamber, brine pump and brine pool portion. Besides, said invention also provides the concrete connection mode of the above-mentioned all the portions.
Sea water desalting and bitter desalination apparatus
Method and apparatus for desalting sea water and brackish water
Double stage absorptive compressing type high temperature heat pump sea water desalination device
Negative backwash device for desalination pretreatment
Negative pressure back-flushing equipment for pretreatment of seawater desalination and its back-flushing method
Multi-effect distillation sea water desalination device
Sea water and saline water desalination agent and desalination process thereof
Solar device for heating water and desalination of sea water