The technology from Britain’s Derby University and N Solar UK Ltd will generate fresh water. The pilot project desalination unit (resembling in design a step pyramid) will have the capacity of 4 million m3 fresh drinking per year. The desalination “pyramid” constructed within 5km of sea will be connected to the target area with a water pipeline. The pilot will include improving delivery systems and service to a target of at least 50,000 households.
By using the Sun as source of power, rather than hydrocarbons, the project is carbon neutral. There is no risk of interruption of oil/gas supply, and no risk of fluctuating cost of hydrocarbons; over the project life the operational cost of the plant is a fraction of gas fuelled desalination plants.
Internationally the proposed Project is in line with wider climate change mitigation goals.
The technology in development by Derby University involves the design of a step pyramid to be constructed from glass and steel into which sea water flows.
The Pyramid will be a glass/steel structure, potentially with a square base of 40m by 40m, 20m below ground and 20m above with an estimated annual capacity of 4 million m3, Heliostats would be arranged in a square around the pyramid, reflecting sunlight onto a vertical wall of the pyramid about half-way up, A symbol of ingenuity, an acknowledgment of the legacy of the ancient Egyptian and Nsude Pyramids of Ancient Nigeria help position solar powered water desalination in the popular imagination.
The Step Pyramid design to be would be the first since the Egyptian and Igbo pyramids of ancient times. To be constructed in Lagos State it will be an iconic project of global interest a great legacy project for Rivers State and symbolic of the long-term determination to solve the water security challenge.
Canal with a pipe supplying Sea Water into the Pyramid
Sea water is heated using energy produced by solar radiation enhanced by the use of solar energy mirrors (heliostats) reflecting sunlight continuously onto the Pyramid throughout the day.
The water becomes steam which is drawn off, and then recondensated as fresh potable water.
Derby University has developed new technology maximising the power of the heliostats.
The resulting fresh water can then be used for irrigation, industrial or general household purposes, and can undergo secondary treatment as necessary for drinking water.