Wa­ter from waste heat

Southasia - - BRIEFINGS -

The is­land of Gulhi, in Kaafu atoll in the Mal­dives be­came the first place in the world to pro­duce de­sali­nated drink­ing wa­ter us­ing waste heat from elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion. The project – a joint ven­ture of the state-owned elec­tric­ity sup­plier STELCO and U.K.-reg­is­tered char­ity the Aquiva Foun­da­tion – will pro­duce around 8000 liters of wa­ter for lo­cal con­sump­tion. A mem­brane dis­til­la­tion unit has been in­stalled be­hind the is­land’s gen­er­a­tor which will use the ex­cess heat pro­duced by the cool­ing sys­tem to in­duce the dis­till­ing process.

The lack of fresh drink­ing wa­ter in the coun­try’s 190 in­hab­ited is­lands – made worse with the con­tam­i­na­tion of ground­wa­ter fol­low­ing the 2004 tsunami – leaves most com­mu­ni­ties re­liant on rain­wa­ter and vul­ner­a­ble to short­ages dur­ing the dry sea­son.

The project will also lead to a re­duc­tion of waste – a peren­nial prob­lem in the Mal­dives – as re­us­able con­tain­ers will be used to col­lect the dis­tilled wa­ter and dis­trib­ute it to house­holds, be­fore be­ing re­turned to the de­sali­na­tion plant.

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