Desalination is an important application for wind energy. Two desalination projects are among the Joule III projects, both tackling optimisation of the complete plant rather than the wind turbine alone. There are a number of options for desalination, with reverse osmosis probably the favourite. A project led by the Technological Institute of the Canaries, however, will also examine the feasibility of using electrodialysis. Although wind variability is less of an issue with desalination plant, other projects are looking at storage options using conventional batteries and fly wheels since the efficiency of the sea water production process deteriorates with an excessive number of starts and stops. Another project, which includes German wind company Enercon, aims to develop modular plants using its 30 kW and 500 kW turbines in conjunction with diesel units.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol