The state of California has been suffering from severe drought for five years. The recession of snow caps and fresh water reservoirs are becoming an increasing concern for the people. Due to the grim situation of water and the complicated landscape, a variety of urban micro generators and fresh solutions are required to tackle the problem. A finalist of the 2016 Land Art Generator Initiative design competition for Santa Monica Pier has presented a solution that offers this and a lot more!
They call it “Solar Pipe,” and it is designed to demonstrate how energy production and aesthetics can go hand in hand without disrupting the flow of daily life. This pipe uses an electromagnetic desalination process to filter the seawater to produce fresh and clean water that is safe for consumption. It also cleans the brine through onboard thermal baths before sending it back to the Pacific Ocean.
Rob Ferry and Elizabeth Monoian, the co-founders of the Land Art Generator Initiative, iterated on the fact that LAGI 2016 came to Southern California at a crucial time. They think that this kind of sustainable infrastructure is quite important to cater for the requirements of the people of this region.
LAGI requested the designers to submit proposals incorporating either energy or drinking water component; or both. Thus, this ingenious design was presented by Khalili Engineers from Canada. The Canadian company made an electromagnetic desalination device using solar power, along with being aesthetically pleasing. The pipe allows people to have a great alternate source of drinking water without the unpleasant side effects of typical energy/water generation plants.
The electromagnetic filtration process occurs below the pool deck, and the energy is harnessed using the solar panels on the roof. It is an efficient and quiet system providing the city with clean drinking water. The long gleaming pipe can be easily seen floating around the Santa Monica Pier. It can generate up to 10,000 MWh, along with producing 4.5 billion liters (or 1.5 billion gallons) of drinking water per year.
The pure drinkable water containing twelve percent salinity is then transported to the city’s primary water piping grid. The salt water is used for thermal baths before it is released back into the sea using a Smart release system. Thus, it mitigates the usual problems of returning brine water to the sea.
A smart solution indeed!