Low-tech is the new high-tech for water purification

Jeremy Eades @ 06-03-2008

windmill Everyone knows the KISS principle, but too often it’s forgotten in an effort to build new gadgets. Typically, desalination requires large amounts of electricity, and operates at a low efficiency. Now, researchers from (where else) the Netherlands have skipped the electrical middleman and are using the mechanical energy created by a standard irrigation windmill to force water through a special reverse osmosis filter.

This will produce around 5-10 cubic meters of water, or roughly enough to satisfy 500 people, with a storage reservoir to save up for windless days. The prototype should be up and running soon on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. No word yet on when Los Angeles will get the 26,000 it needs to avert a crisis soon.

(via DailyTech) (image from press release)

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3 Responses to “Low-tech is the new high-tech for water purification”

  1. ShaunCG says:

    Funnily enough I came across Los Angeles’ water issues yesterday as well, by way of the Mono Lake legal argument being used to illustrate the importance of environmental activists interacting with local communities:
    http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2008/03/another-story-about-dick.html

  2. magetoo says:

    Hotlinking images? Naughty. (It didn’t load, which is why I even noticed.)

    The idea sounds like a very good one, especially if you have a design that can be cheaply built on site by regular people, and the only special part you need is the filter(s).

  3. Jeremy Eades says:

    OK, I plead ignorance. Image’s fixed now.

    One of the TEDTalks I watched recently (not sure which – I’ve seen around 40 this week) had a way to pump water up from a well that was powered by a Stairmaster-type contraption. If you wanted a backup for long, windless days, I wonder if a person could generate the 60-bar needed to push the water through the filter.

    ShaunCG, Orcinus is a good blog, I didn’t even notice that article up til you pointed it out. Good catch. Water’s gonna be big.