SEADOG can be used for desalination or as stand-alone renewable electricity generators
One of the biggest problems of large-scale water desalination plants is that they require tremendous amounts of electricity to operate. There have been breakthroughs in desalination technology that have drastically reduced the amount of energy required to create drinking water from sea water, but very few that have been able to do it consistently with renewable energy. But a company called Renew Blue Inc. (RBI) hopes to change all that with its SEADOG Pump wave energy generator.
RBI today announced it received a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 10 Permit to install a commercial wave-powered demonstration using its SEADOG Pump technology at a new facility a mile off of Freeport, Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. The 18-pump system will take up an area of 150 feet by 75 feet and use a portion of the wave power to desalinate up to 3,000 gallons of fresh water per day using reverse osmosis.
"We could produce over 20 times that amount of water with this facility, but we simply want to demonstrate its viability on a smaller scale at this point," said Douglas Sandberg, vice president for INRI.
While traditional desalination plants require large amounts of electricity to operate blades or impellers--40 to 50 percent of operating costs in the desalination process are attributed to energy usage--the SEADOG Pump operates at low pressure, has no impellers or blades, and few moving parts. The company claims that SEADOG has "nearly zero impact on marine life."
"It is an exciting time for us as we move closer to demonstrating a renewable energy technology that can provide base load electricity and fresh water for municipalities, commercial business and local entities," said Sandberg.
RBI will bottle and distribute the Renew Blue brand of water, "the world's first 100 percent fossil-fuel-free, desalinated drinking water produced by harnessing the power of ocean waves."
"I don't want to make bottled water a revenue stream," RBI founder and CEO Mark Thomas told Popular Mechanics last year. "[F]or the most part, it's a marketing project. I want to have a tangible, portable product made entirely from wave energy. With seawater filtered with energy from wave power filling corn-based plastic bottles, I have as close as you can get to environmentally friendly bottled water."
"Now, if people want to buy the water--if they think it's a good thing--we'll sell it to them. But it's not our driving force: That's energy.
The facility is expected to be installed later this year.
Watch a video of the SEADOG Pump in action