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Solar pond could produce fresh water

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Reno, Nev. (UPI) Jan 6, 2009
Salty lakes worldwide could produce valuable freshwater using a low-cost solar process developed at the University of Nevada, researchers said.

The process traps heat at the bottom of a specially built solar pond and uses the collected energy to power a desalination system recently patented by the university, researcher Francisco Suarez said in a release Tuesday.

"For every surface acre of solar pond we can make three acre-feet of freshwater in about one year," Suarez said.

In experiments using an outdoor tank, hot brine in the lower zone of the tank reached temperatures greater than 195 degrees Fahrenheit, which then was used to power a thermal desalination system.

Suarez and his team want to build a pilot-project at Nevada's salty Walker Lake. The cost to run the system would be negligible because it would use the renewable energy of the sun, trapped as heat in the bottom of a pond, to power most of the system, he said.

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Shell fails to honor solar warranties
Colombo, Sri Lanka (UPI) Jan 5, 2009
The World Bank and green energy companies have accused oil giant Shell of not honoring warranties on solar power systems sold to the developing world, the Guardian reports. At issue is the "widespread" breakdown of Shell solar equipment in Sri Lanka and other locations. Shell has since turned over the rural electrification business under which the Shell systems were sold, but critics ... read more

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