Topic 16a- Low-Cost Desalination System Driven by Hydrokinetic Power

Period of Performance: 06/12/2017 - 12/11/2017

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Ocean and tidal currents contain a huge amount of power that is currently untapped. This power could be used very efficiently to desalinate water for water-poor regions located near coastlines. A major obstacle is the high cost of manufacturing and deployment of ocean systems. We propose an innovative new technology that can dramatically reduce the manufacturing and deployment costs of hydrokinetic power converters for ocean and tidal currents. Our system is based on a novel design that reduces material costs by an order of magnitude compared to competing systems and dramatically simplifies deployment. Overall efficiency is very high because mechanical power generated by the water current can be used directly to drive an RO desalination plant without conversion to electricity. In Phase I, we will prove the feasibility of our approach through detailed computational analysis, proof-of-concept tests of key system components, and mechanical design of a prototype converter that will be built in Phase II. The main application of our technology would be production of desalinated water for coastal communities. The system can also be adapted to generate electric power.