Futuristic desert city to get water using solar technology developed at Cranfield

11/02/2020

Technology researched at Cranfield University that harnesses concentrated solar power to desalinate sea water is being adopted by a new smart city under construction in Saudi Arabia.

NEOM – a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – has signed an agreement with Solar Water Plc to build the first ever ‘solar dome’ desalination plant.

Solar Water's groundbreaking carbon neutral approach was developed through a Cranfield master’s group project and represents the first large-scale use of Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) technology in seawater desalination.

Professor Chris Sansom, Head of the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems at Cranfield, and currently a consultant to Solar Water, said:
“The adoption of solar dome desalination in NEOM will be a trailblazer for other countries struggling to generate environmentally-safe and sustainable sources of fresh water. The process could be used to produce clean water for a range of uses including farming, reforestation, biotech consumption, or use by high-tech industries that rely on pure clean water for their manufacturing.”

David Reavley, CEO of Solar Water Plc, said: “Currently, thousands of desalination plants around the world are heavily reliant on burning fossil fuels to extract water, poisoning our oceans in the process with excess brine. Our game-changing desalination technology is 100% carbon neutral and entirely sustainable. In NEOM we have found a partner who has a strong vision of what a New Future looks like in harmony with nature.”

Work on the first dome will begin in February and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

To find out more, click here

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