About Us

Solar pond could produce fresh water

Jan 06, 2010 - UPI

Salty lakes worldwide could produce valuable freshwater using a low-cost solar process developed at the University of Nevada, researchers said.

The process traps heat at the bottom of a specially built solar pond and uses the collected energy to power a desalination system recently patented by the university, researcher Francisco Suarez said in a release Tuesday.

"For every surface acre of solar pond we can make three acre-feet of freshwater in about one year," Suarez said.

In experiments using an outdoor tank, hot brine in the lower zone of the tank reached temperatures greater than 195 degrees Fahrenheit, which then was used to power a thermal desalination system.

Suarez and his team want to build a pilot-project at Nevada's salty Walker Lake. The cost to run the system would be negligible because it would use the renewable energy of the sun, trapped as heat in the bottom of a pond, to power most of the system, he said.


Updated: 2003/07/28