Solar desalination unit launched in Switzerland

A solar membrane desalination unit being developed by SwissINSO Holding Inc has been installed prior to a 6-8 month field test, the company told a launch event in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 22 April 2010

The Krystall unit is said to combine exclusive membrane technology with state-of-the-art photovoltaic panels to desalinate 100 m³/d of brackish water or 50 m3/d of seawater.

Once raw water – from sea or brackish sources – is pumped into the Krystall system, the unit’s solar-powered pumps and compressor begin their work. First an automatic self- cleaning prefilter removes all solid particles and debris ; then filtration by reverse-osmosis membranes removes all suspended solids, turbidity, viruses, bacteria and most organic compounds.

Based on patented membrane technology developed by SwissINSO’s partner MFT, the system forces water through a series of circular membrane plates in two separated streams in a way that effectively minimises pressure on the pumps and membranes. It therefore requires less energy than any other system, allowing the unit to operate solely using solar power.

As a consequence, yearly running costs for Krystall units are claimed to be considerably lower than standard units – estimated at 45% less than grid powered and 70% less than diesel-powered systems.

SwissINSO President Michel Gruering said, “We are very pleased to have our unit up and running here so its capabilities can be witnessed first-hand. We have developed a mobile, self-sufficient, renewable-energy solution to one of the world’s most pressing problems access to clean drinking water.”

Units range from the SA50 50 m³/d seawater unit to the UF200 200 m³/d spoilt surface water model. Brackish water models come in 50 and 100 m³/d sizes.

For more information, contact: Paul de Belay, vice president – sales and marketing
Email: [email protected]
Tel: + 41 21 641 19 30