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FLOATING, AUTONOMOUS, ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY AND EFFICIENT DESALINATION UNIT

The water shortage is a major problem in many parts of the planet, as in many islands of Greece. Mainly in the summer, with the population increase and with the bad water resource management, the need for ensuring potable water becomes crucial, not only for the needs of visitors, but also for the total progress and development of the islands which are forced to secure supplies of bottled water through aquifers and other ships.

Through the research program of GSRT, which started in 2003, the research group of the University of the Aegean came up with “Ydriada”, a floating environmental friendly desalination unit. “Ydriada” is an inexhaustible source of potable water, which is produced naturally by combining natural resources with technology.

The idea was simple: taking advantage of the sun and the wind in order to produce potable water from the sea. This is actually the first floating platform in the world, working with wind turbine and photovoltaic systems.

Potable water from the sea in a natural way

THE INTERNATIONAL GREEK INNOVATION

In 2007, “Ydriada’ was towed and anchored outside the port of Irakleia, where she lies in anchor till today. The residents embraced the effort and participated actively, since they realized the importance of the project aiming to cover one of the most important needs of the island, that of access to drinking water.

The produced energy helps the desalination unit to convert seawater into potable, offering an eco-friendly solution to the problem of water scarcity in the islands. Designed and constructed in such way that it remains ‘still’ under the most difficult weather conditions. All functions can be controlled remotely through wireless internet. Thus, the cost of connecting the units is being reduced, as there is no need for a wired network to control operators. The system is 100% environmentally friendly and it doesn't use fuel or chemicals in order to process the seawater. That leads to reduced operating costs and finally, to the production of drinking water at a cost which is lower than that of any other solution possible to be applied in the islands.

The future goal of the development team of «Ydriada», which can be exploited immediately and is economically viable, is to create many floating desalination units and offer 1000-3000 liters of drinking water per day, in order to meet the needs of residents of the islands where there is a water shortage problem. Furthermore, this technology applies to floating wind farms, a sector where increased development is expected in the coming years and offers promising prospects for further growth in Greece.

European Innovation Competition 'RegioStars 2008' and Patents

The project «Floating, Autonomous and Environmentally Friendly Desalination Unit, South Aegean, Greece» has excelled at both national and European levels:

- Best practice projects OPCE, financed by the Ministry of Development, in 2003.

- Special mention from the committee Regiostrars Awards 2008, which rewards the most innovative regional projects in Europe.

- Four patents from the Industrial Property Organization (OBI) for the design, construction and the desalination system. OBI is the only organisation in Greece responsible for the consolidation of patents and industrial designs.

UNIVERSITY OF THE AEGEAN

DEPARTMENT OF SHIPPING, TRADE & TRANSPORT

Nikitakos Nikitas, Professor, Scientific Director

Scientific Group: Lillas Th., Litinas N., Georgoulis G., Dagkinis I.

http://www.hellaskps.gr/bestpractices/proj.asp?pId=77