IDE adapts desalination technology for osmotic power generation

The project is first of its kind to generate clean, green energy by mixing seawater and fresh water. IDE will design the 2 mega-watt pilot facility in Sunndalsøra, Norway. The plant, which will be capable of 24/7 operation in any weather, is scheduled for construction within a few years. Under the agreement, IDE will design and later purchase and construct the pilot plant in close cooperation with Statkraft. Most of the plant will be based on existing technology used in desalination and other industries. However, IDE will design innovative solutions in several areas of the pilot plant, such as the energy recovery system and the fresh water and seawater pre-treatment. “We are honoured to team up with Statkraft for this breakthrough pilot that will demonstrate the feasibility of producing energy by means of a PRO process,” said Dr. Boris Liberman, VP & CTO Membrane Technology of IDE. “We have been researching Osmotic Energy production for some time now, and intend to bring our R&D findings, our solid engineering solutions and our water expertise to this project. This will result in driving costs down while increasing net energy output.” Osmotic Energy is a method for producing energy from the mix of fresh water and seawater. This technology enables clean power production at any place where rivers and lakes meet the seashore. Mastering this technology represents great potential for renewable, zero carbon-dioxide footprint, seafront power plants worldwide. “Statkraft pioneered the field of Osmotic Power by developing knowledge and experience in the PRO technology, and later by constructing a prototype facility in Tofte, Norway,” said Stein Erik Skilhagen, Head of Osmotic Power, Statkraft. “The Tofte facility has been operating since 2009, and is in use for testing components, processes and membranes. We have selected IDE to design this pilot plant as we are certain that IDE’s pioneering R&D and solid engineering practices, coupled with Statkraft’s experience and capabilities, represent the best team to handle the technological and economic barrier to osmotic power generation.”