The Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) has developed an innovative desalination battery that combines the abilities to desalinate highly saline waters and energy storage and release similar to a battery. The ability to generate clean, potable water at any location is critical for the operational agility and self-sufficiency of expeditionary forces. Water treatment systems that remove suspended and dissolved solids are available to treat most surface waters. Reverse Osmosis (RO), which is the state-of-the-art desalination technology, though, suffers from high energy needs and extensive maintenance requirements because of high pressure operation and the need for frequent membrane replacement due to fouling. At the same time it is mission critical to have sufficient energy to operate all equipment at any hours of the day. This will require the availability of load shifting equipment that can store energy when readily available (e.g. solar during day) and makes it available at night. PARCs desalination battery generates excess electrical energy during desalination mode, and rejects the stored salt ions into a salt water solution during recharge mode, pushing the total energy need for desalination below what is required for RO and eliminating the need for high pressure pumps and equipment.
Volkel, A. R.; Rivest, J.; Desai, D.; Vedharathinam, V.; de Lannoy, C.; Bao, J. Desalination Battery. Defense Innovation Challenge.; Austin, TX USA. Date of Talk: 2015-01-12