GivePower nonprofit organization builds a solar water desalination plant in the coastal area of Kiunga, Kenya.
The GivePower organization's desalination plant has been in operation since July 2018. It can produce 75,000 liters of drinking water every day, enough for 25,000 users. Desalination technology is not new but previous factories often use large capacity pumps and extremely energy consuming. Therefore, operating costs are also very high. "You have to find a way to get water from the sea that can be applied on a large scale and towards sustainable development, " said Hayes Barnard, GivePower head.
Plant turns seawater into fresh water in Kiunga, Kenya.(Photo: GivePower).
The plant runs on solar energy, uses Tesla batteries to store energy and has two pumps installed in parallel, helping to maintain continuous operation, even when a pump needs maintenance. In the future, GivePower hopes to build smaller desalination facilities, only one pump and 15 kW solar power system and Tesla battery. GivePower can combine these facilities to scale up. Local people only need to pay about 0.0025 USD per liter of water.
Kiunga is the first place GivePower places the factory. The construction process lasts a month for a total cost of $ 500,000. The organization hopes to earn $ 100,000 annually from the factory and use that money to build more facilities. Barnard aims to reduce construction costs to $ 100,000 per factory in the future.
At first, GivePower focused on building solar battery systems to supply electricity in developing countries. The organization has installed a solar battery system at more than 2,650 locations in 17 countries, mainly schools, clinics and villages. However, finding water shortage is also a serious problem, GivePower continues to seek ways to create clean water.
About one third of the world's population cannot access safe drinking water, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). By 2025, half of the world's population is expected to live in areas of water shortage. Some cities such as Cape Town (South Africa), Chennai (India) and Beijing (China) are facing a situation of declining water supplies.