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The Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, Masdar, has announced the start of its testing of three systems to capture solar heat as part of its Renewable Energy Desalination Programme, to develop water desalination stations with greater energy efficiency and commercial advantage. The three systems were installed at the site of the Masdar Renewable Energy Desalination Programme in Ghantoot. 

These advanced technological systems, evaluated with the participation of Imperial Energy, EMSOL Innovations and GREENone Tec, work by capturing the sun’s heat to strengthen the process of desalinating sea water, as an alternative to burning natural gas. 

During the launch of the advanced solar panels, Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said that there is an urgent need to provide energy solutions that are more sustainable with less consumption in the process of water desalination, especially as most water used in GCC countries go through this process. 

He added that the Masdar Renewable Energy Desalination Programme has achieved important results for Masdar and its partners since its launch 18 months ago, represented by the installation of the latest solar heat technology for the next phase of development of this vital programme. 

Al Ramahi expressed Masdar’s enthusiasm to co-operate with leading companies such as Imperial, EMSOL and GREENone Tec, and to benefit from their technological expertise in this field. 

Dr. Steve Griffiths, Vice President of Research at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, said that the abundant solar heat in the UAE, which can be collected in the form of energy, is considered an attractive choice for providing energy for various stages of sea water desalination, which provides most of the country’s fresh water. 

The Masdar Renewable Energy Desalination Programme in Ghantoot has tested the efficiency of five stations in energy consumption while desalinating sea water over the course of 18 months. 

Four companies working on this programme, Veolia, Abengoa, Suez, and Mascara, evaluated the technologies of advanced reverse osmosis, while a fifth company, Trevi Systems, tested the technology of frontal osmosis. 

According to the initial results, which were demonstrated during last year’s Global Water Summit, the five stations are working with twice the efficiency of standard heat technologies, which are used to produce most of the drinking water in the Gulf region. 

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