Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Merlin Company is pleased to announce a new venture aimed at addressing food, water and housing issues in water starved, desert areas in the Asia Pacific (excluding Australia) and MENA markets. Using revolutionary housing design and unique solar powered desalination from KII/Suns River, water and food production will come from raw desert using seawater as the water source. And it is not just any seawater. The demonstration project is set to be on display in the summer of 2017 at the Sharjah Research Center at the American University of Sharjah. The nominal water source will be seawater from the north coast of UAE with salt concentrations exceeding 40,000 TDS. The only other output is solid salt to be sold for mineral content or sequestered onsite.
The standard answer to water needs has been to build huge capacity desalination plants with very high costs then get the water to the users using complicated logistics. But Merlin, UAE and KII/Suns River, USA announce the debut of an elegant answer to meet water needs at the micro level – one farm at a time. This development can be a key addition to National Environmental Strategy for Water Resources as a source of renewable desalination. Similar to micro loans in the financial arena, often times the best answer is small - not gigantic. In this case, the water supply comes from 99 to 100% solar energy powered desalination, there is no waste brine and the farmer gets not only pure water but an area of desert partially shaded to allow food crops to thrive in raw desert with lower soil temperatures and lower water demand. Desert Farming. With widely distributed demand, this individual approach to housing, water and food offers many advantages over large, central facilities.
This Desert Farming enterprise expects to have their first demonstration unit operational by mid-2017 at Sharjah Research Center in United Arab Emirates. The planned installation will demonstrate how to use salt water and raw desert to create a green space for food production. The desalination process is patented by KII, Inc/Suns River and features easy operation, no internal moving or electronic parts and an expected equipment life over 20 years. The planned design will generate water equivalent to more than 1.5 meters of rainfall over the shaded growth area. Enough water to feed more than double the shaded space.
Merlin is opening a major initiative to make affordable housing available using a unique design, which carries major advantages in cost savings and simple construction. The house design features bolt together panels and can be erected in a day or two. It is no rambling mansion but provides a family secure housing at an affordable price along with an assured supply of water and food. An income is possible given the excess food production capacity.
For information about this new player in the water/food/housing market contact Sharad Bachani at [email protected] or (971) 04 380 6660 or Hill Kemp: US 318-315-1534.
More news coverage here: Water Desalination Report, 20 March 2017: Company News
Solar desal — one farm at a time
KII/Suns River, a Louisiana-based manufacturer of solar stills, has announced a partnership with Dubai’s Merlin Company to address food and water issues in rural desert areas of the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and India. The pair said that they would construct a demonstration installation at the American University of Sharjah’s Research Center, in Sharjah, UAE.
Suns River CEO Hill Kemp told WDR, “Our solar stills can produce up to 12 L/m2/d or about three times more than a conventional still, using a combination of serpentine cooling tubes and an inclined feedwater heating surface in a recirculating, three-stage configuration. The system will be designed to operate on a day/night cycle, using the heated cooling water to produce a significant amount of the total water production overnight.
“For locations where brine disposal is a problem, each day’s concentrate can be discharged into one of three flat pan containers for natural evaporation, leaving behind a solid salt cake.”
The demonstration facility will consist of a battery of 15 modules—each measuring 1m wide (3.3 ft) by 2.5m (8.2 ft) long and elevated 2m (6.6 ft) above the ground—with a combined production rate of 0.45 m3/d (119 gpd). The units will concentrate the feedwater, which can range from brackish groundwater to seawater, to a TDS of nearly 150,000 mg/L.
Suns River solar still arrangement
He said that such a system will provide sufficient water to irrigate a shaded area of approximately 130m2 (1,400 ft2), adding, “The UAE has an initiative to assist its citizens that live in rural areas. Our stills will help ensure that those residents have an adequate water supply.”
The demonstration system is expected to be operational later this summer.
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