Energy & Water Access

Water Desalination

663 million people worldwide still use unimproved drinking water sources, including unprotected wells and springs, and surface water. The majority of this population lives in the two developing regions in countries of sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asian.

Unimproved or contaminated water can transmit diseases and, in many cases, is the reason of thousands of deaths mostly of children younger than five years old.
Off-grid zero emission electricity generation systems represent an innovative solution for desalination purposes in rural and isolated regions.

With the progression of desertification , a growing demand for off-grid water treatment plants is expected during the next decades.

The Project:

With the support of DEG, Ferntech and Membran-Filtrations-Technik (mft) have developed a renewable energy powered, remotely controllable micro-reverse osmosis water desalination plant: The RO-SEA 100.

What We Did

The drinking water produced is sold locally to municipalities or end user, which so far have limited or no access to clean drinking water.

The role of Ferntech in this case was to provide an embedded hardware device to monitor both the reverse osmosis systems as well as the off-grid systems to monitor as a whole, taking responsibility of the context data transfer, the web portal and the long-term data analysis.

The Solution

The plant is supplied with wind and solar energy, which is stored in lithium-ion batteries. Weather conditions, state-of-charge of the battery etc are monitored and recorded using the Ferntech Controller.

The data is sent via GSM to the Ferntech server so that actionable decisions can be taken in real time by mft back in Cologne.

Controller logic has also been built into the Ferntech device, enabling the unit to switch itself on/off as necessary when certain monitored conditions are exceeded (e.g., state of charge).
Solar Chargers Inverters Wind Turbine regulator Lithium ion battery Weather station Water Plant controller Water pump controller Power analyzer
Project Reference:
Self-Powered Reverse Osmosis Water desalnation Plant, able to produce 120 L/h
La Guajira, Colombia
Energy Sources
7,5 KWp PV, 350 W Wind turbine
11,2 Kwh lithium ion
Equipment Involved
Studer, siemens, Victron, Morningstar, Lorentz, AutarcTech, Rainwise weather station, Puls converter, Qeed power meter
Learn More about this Project