RED-powered power pilot to start trials in February

Salinity gradient power generation by reverse electrodialysis (RED) is making good progress, according to an announcement on 24 January 2014 by FujiFilm Manufacturing Europe BV and REDstack, a Dutch spinoff company from Wetsus.

REDstack and Fujifilm are building the world’s first pilot to generate 50 kW using RED technology. The infrastructure and building for have been completed at the Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands.

Currently assembly of the first RED stacks is in progress, and first test trials will start in February 2014.

With RED technology, electricity can be generated directly from the membranes in one process step. The researchers claim this is advantageous by comparison with pressure-retarded osmosis technology, which has just been shelved by Norwegian power company Statwerk as being currently uneconomic.

To generate energy with RED technology, no additional hydro‑turbine process step is necessary after the membrane process. This avoids additional efficiency losses.

Fujifilm Manufacturing Europe BV produces offset plates and photographic paper, but has its own research and development centre, which has been developing high‑volume cost‑effective ion‑exchange membranes for the water industry.