USA flag logo/image

An Official Website of the United States Government

Solar Desalination Technology for Mid-Sized Applications

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2006 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ail Research, Inc.
P.O. Box 3662 Princeton, NJ 08543
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2006
Title: Solar Desalination Technology for Mid-Sized Applications
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-06ER84525
Award Amount: $99,950.00


Secure sources of clean fresh water are essential to the welfare of communities throughout the world. To meet the growing demand for fresh water, communities are increasingly relying on large-scale desalination plants. Unfortunately, the source of energy to run these plants has almost always been fossil fuels. This project will develop a desalination technology that runs primarily on solar energy and can be economically competitive with fossil-fuel based systems. All thermal desalination processes first evaporate seawater and then condense the water vapor to produce freshwater. The new approach will employ a novel configuration for the evaporator and condenser, which will: (1) eliminate the need for large, costly vacuum shells; (2) convert the shells from expensive metallic heat exchangers to low-cost, corrosion-resistant plastic heat exchangers; and (3) retain high efficiency when a solar thermal energy source. In addition, a solar collector, designed specfically for desalination applications and much less expensive than conventional collectors, will be developed. Phase I will include: small scale bench-top experiments to both optimize and prove the performance of the novel evaporator/condenser; a proof-of-concept demonstration of a low-cost solar thermal collector, which is integrated into the desalination plant; a conceptual design for a full-scale plant; and an estimate for the cost of producing water from this plant. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: In addition to desalination, the technology also should be applicable to the purification of brackish water ¿ which would be extremely important in the Southwest, where economic growth is straining water supplies and brackish water is frequently available. By efficiently producing mineral-free water, the novel desalination technology also could increase the use of high-efficiency evaporative coolers for HVAC applications

Principal Investigator:

Jeffrey A. Miller

Business Contact:

Andrew Lowenstein
Small Business Information at Submission:

Ail Research, Inc.
P.O. Box 3662 50 Washington Road Princeton, NJ 08543

EIN/Tax ID: 223052912
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No