All too often, groundwater is brackish and not suitable for human consumption or crop irrigation. Irrigation with brackish water is not sustainable and ultimately leads to low crop yield and salinization of the soil. In India, 60% of the land is underlain by salty water. The nation is in need of freshwater supplies for crop, human, and animal consumption. Further, electric grids that can run conventional reverse- osmosis desalination plants are not widely available in India.
MIT and Jain Irrigation Systems designed a photovoltaic-powered electrodialysis reversal (EDR) system that desalinates water. This system uses electricity to pull charged particles out of the water and further disinfect it by using ultraviolet rays. The system was designed for low energy consumption, limiting costs especially in off-grid areas.
How Does it Work?
Photovoltaic-powered (PV) electrodialysis reversal (EDR) desalinates water through a simple, robust design that uses electricity to pull charged particles out of the water and then further disinfect with UV. The system has low energy consumption, leading to lower system costs and capital expenses, especially in off-grid areas. Jain Irrigation Systems’ capabilities in large-scale manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and servicing in rural areas increase this innovation’s potential.
As their test pilot period begins, MIT plans to automate their system with electronic valves, so it can automatically turn on and off. Additionally, this automated system would allow for reversal of the electrodialysis process, as well as automatic separation of potable from agricultural water. Jain will roll out training activities for farmers during their test pilot period in India.