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A New Wave in Energy: 2 MW Osmotic Power Plant is Planned in Norway
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February 13, 2013

A New Wave in Energy: 2 MW Osmotic Power Plant is Planned in Norway

By Cheryl Kaften
TMCnet Contributor

IDE Technologies Ltd. of Kadima, Israel, a specialist in water technologies, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Oslo, Norway-based Statkraft, a major player in the European renewable energy market, for the development of an osmotic power generation pilot plant in Norway.

Osmotic power is the energy generated when fresh water and salt water meet, separated by a permeable membrane. The salt water pulls fresh water through the membrane and the pressure increases on the salt water side (see video). This pressure increase can be used to produce electrical power with the use of a normal hydroelectric turbine/generator setup.

The world's first osmotic power plant, with capacity of 4 kilowatts (kW), was inaugurated by Statkraft in late 2009 in Tofte, Norway.  

Mastering this technology represents great potential for renewable, zero carbon-dioxide footprint, seafront power plants worldwide.

Under the agreement, IDE will design, and later purchase and construct, the 2-megawatt (MW) pilot facility in Sunndalsøra, Norway, in close cooperation with Statkraft. Most of the plant will be based on existing technology used in desalination and other industries.

However, IDE will engineer innovative solutions in several areas of the pilot plant, such as the energy recovery system, and the fresh water and seawater pretreatment process.  

The plant, which will be capable of 24/7 operation in any weather, is scheduled for construction within a few years.

 “We are honored to team up with Statkraft for this breakthrough pilot that will demonstrate the feasibility of producing energy by means of a PRO [simulation] process,” said Boris Liberman, vice president and chief technology officer, Membrane Technology, IDE. “We have been researching osmotic energy production for some time now, and intend to bring our R&D findings, our solid engineering solutions and our water expertise to this project. This will result in driving costs down while increasing net energy output.”

Image via Statkraft

 “Statkraft pioneered the field of Osmotic Power by developing knowledge and experience in the PRO technology, and later by constructing a prototype facility in Tofte, Norway,” said Stein Erik Skilhagen, head of Osmotic Power, Statkraft. “The Tofte facility has been operating since 2009, and is in use for testing components, processes and membranes. We have selected IDE to design this pilot plant, as we are certain that IDE’s pioneering R&D and solid engineering practices, coupled with Statkraft’s experience and capabilities, represent the best team to handle the technological and economic barrier to osmotic power generation.”

Edited by Braden Becker

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