Offshore desalination prototype wins funding

Renewable sector engineering company 4NRg has won funding for its development of a prototype mechanical offshore desalination unit.

The £42,000 grant from the European Supply Chain innovation for Offshore Renewable Energy (SCORE) programme is to develop a pioneering desalination unit that requires no electricity. 4NRg’s unit will harness the mechanical wave or tidal energy to create fresh drinking water. So the system is suitable for remote areas making it particularly appropriate for the renewables energy sector the manufacturer said..

4NRg business development director, Mark Aspinall, said: “If all goes to plan this unit could also be widely used in disaster areas where fresh water is often a scarce, yet crucial, resource.” The next step for 4NRg is to scale the prototype up to be tested independently for its commercial potential. This pilot project is planned to take nine months, with the first scaled-up device ready for testing in three to six months, either in a large testing tank or in the sea.

Clean water for offshore sector engineers and other workers spending long periods of time offshore has either to be transported out to sea in large tanks or there has to be a way to produce clean water. Both these options are often costly and inconvenient. 4NRg anticipates growing demand for its plant as wind farms are built further from the shore to access higher-speed, more stable winds.

The SCORE programme delivers a £2.5 million funding investment through the European Regional Development Fund.