200Kw CSP Image: Cranfield University

Cranfield University will join 19 research partners spread through 12 countries to develop a first-of-a-kind plant which couples concentrated solar power (CSP) and desalination techniques.

The €10M European Union’s Horizon 2020 funded research and innovation programme will last four years.

Technologies related to both CSP and desalination will be designed to improve the efficiency of existing concepts. Improvements will be made on the independent systems, but also on their coupling, taking advantage from the mutual interaction and potential.

Cranfield University is the only UK partner, and they are building on a long-standing reputation in CSP, the grant is worth €799,000 to them over four years.

Chris Sansom, Cranfield’s Professor of CSP and Head of Centre for Renewable Energy Systems, said:

“Generating environmentally-safe and sustainable sources of both power and fresh water is a challenge for many countries. The final demonstration system will be a 2 MWel power plant built in Saudi Arabia bringing together two promising technologies associated for the first time to reach unprecedented efficiencies.

“For Cranfield, it is further recognition of our research capabilities in both CSP and Water Sciences.”

The DESOLINATION project focuses on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region to test and deploy its technology. A first prototype will be built on the premises of King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.