Water arrives onshore at about 180 psi and Atmocean uses energy recovery devices to boost 14% of the arriving seawater to 900 psi, which is the pressure needed to run reverse osmosis. The system is the size of a shipping container and is manufactured by Atmocean industry partners.
“Each pump is a buoy on a piston,” Sandia Labs engineer Tim Koehler said. “As a wave passes, the buoy ingests sea water, and as the buoy settles, it pumps seawater through hydraulic lines back to shore where it enters the zero-electricity desalination process.”
50 million ft3 of pressurized water is pushed to shore in a year. 14% of that is desalinated, producing 5 million ft3 of fresh water annually that can be used for agriculture or consumption. Kithil said the system is inexpensive, offers local employment and helps the environment.