Featured in the Water Desalination Report

Global Water Intelligence's Water Desalination Report –The international weekly for desalination and advanced water treatment since 1965 – writes about our small-scale decentralized RO solution.

In July 2020 report, the WDR Editor Tom Pankratz writes an article on Solar Water Solutions and its use of the mechanical adaptive valve system technology, ANVS®.

To pursue the off-grid desalination market, a successful company must not only have desalination and renewable energy experience, it must also be able to integrate the two technologies in an economically viable, robust, ‘islandproof’ design that can be maintained and serviced by local technicians. For many applications, however, technology is only half the problem. Besides resorts, construction camps and large private villas or compounds, there are also many rural communities with individual customers that require safe, fresh water supplies. Serving such a fragmented market, often with no community water infrastructure, requires an appropriate business model and the ability to identify reliable local partners.

Solar Water Solutions (SWS) seems to have hit upon the right combination of technical expertise and distribution channels.

Since early 2019, the Finnish company has delivered over 120 solar-powered RO systems with production capacities ranging up to 10,000 L/h (44 gpm). According to SWS CEO Antti Pohjola, SWS can reduce the cost of safe, fresh potable water to $1/m3 ($3.80/kgal) in rural, off-grid areas. The company has four pre-engineered BWRO and four SWRO models. The units include multi-stage pre-filters suitable for use with most borehole or beachwell feedwater supplies, UV post-treatment, and solar panels. The units can also be powered by a diesel generator or from the grid during non-solar hours, and are equipped with the company’s proprietary ANVS®, an adaptive nozzle valve. “A solar-powered desal unit’s greatest challenge is that solar irradiance varies through the day and the power obtained from PV panels is, by nature, variable. A direct, solar-powered pump always produces a variable flow. Our ANVS enables the use of direct solar power to drive our SolarROs high-pressure pump. It automatically sets and maintains the RO system pressure at the optimal level, independent of feedwater volume fluctuations,” Pohjola explained. SWS has also developed an off-grid water dispensing and management product called the Solar Water ATM, targeting local water vendors in rural communities, refugee camps, NGOs, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in Africa. SWS has partnered with Germany’s Lorentz to integrate its smartTap water dispenser with SolarRO systems.  “A local water seller can usually expect a 26.5-month return on investment for one of these systems.“

Water Desalination Report (WDR) is a weekly round-up of all the latest desalination, membrane, and water reuse industry news. Published since 1965, WDR is the most reliable source of up-to-date news for the sector. WDR’s editor is Tom Pankratz. Tom is an independent desalination consultant with 30 years’ experience in the water industry. He’s a member of the IDA board of directors, the MEDRC advisory council, the WHO desalination technology committee, the AWWA Desalting Committee, and a past member of the National Academy of Sciences desalination roadmap review committee. He has written several books including The Screening Equipment Handbook, desalination.com, and the Dictionary of Environmental Engineering. Tom also instructs training seminars and is a regular speaker at industry events. WDR is essential reading for anyone with an interest in desalination and water treatment.