11 November 2016
Rackam Making a Foray into Solar Desalination
Rackam is broadening its green tech portfolio: the Sherbrooke company is developing a desalination technique using concentrated solar power, its stellar niche.
This new technical solution in a unique way combines two existing desalination technologies: reverse osmosis and multiple-effect distillation, for the purpose of further increasing water treatment performance.
The system developed by Rackam builds on its solar panel technology for harvesting and concentrating solar energy. These panels produce very high temperatures to power steam turbines. In turn, these turbines activate the pumps of a reverse osmosis system that uses pressure to push saline water through semi-permeable membranes, resulting in a first batch of drinking water, and residual brackish water.
In a second phase, the brackish water comes into contact with a surface heated using energy recovered from the system – this is what we call multiple-effect distillation. This process evaporates brackish water which is then condensed into fresh water, creating a second batch of drinking water. The end result yields only water and solid salt residue, a competitive edge over standard desalination techniques that generate brackish water that is harmful to the environment and requires expensive treatment.
The R&D project, which was initiated in response to the growing problem of access to drinking water in many countries around the world, is currently in the research phase as a pilot project.
Potential clients from Japan, China, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States have already expressed their interest in Rackam’s solar desalination technology.
To learn more – Solar desalination: a solution to a growing global problem? by Rackam
California as a Prospective Target
At the same time, Rackam is stepping up its efforts to penetrate the American market. Its solar collectors were approved in August by the American labs of the TUV Rheinland PTL independent solar testing facility, a first step in the process to obtain ICC-SRCC certification, which is essential in this market.
The Sherbrooke company will also gain from its extended reach in California, where it has joined the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), which has over 400 members.
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