A real-life water, wind laboratory Turbines focus of study on desalination plant
Researchers seeking to make the ocean's salty brine drinkable using wind power will spend the next year using the town of Hull as a case study to help other water-needy, windswept coastal areas filter freshwater from the sea.
With one wind turbine already spinning, another to be installed in January, and a third offshore turbine being considered, Hull is an ideal laboratory for modeling a desalination plant that runs off a combination of renewable energy and the electric grid, according to James Manwell, director of the Renewable Energy Research Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
November 21, 2005
by Carolyn Y. Johnson
in The Boston Globe
Manwell's research group received a $100,000 grant from the US Bureau of Reclamation this month to study the feasibility and economics of such a desalination plant, a technology that requires huge amounts of energy.
Hull has long depended on water piped in from wells in Hingham, at a cost of roughly $8 per 1,000 gallons, giving it among the highest water rates in the region. With the average family consuming nearly 71,000 gallons of water last year, officials said, Hull hopes that a wind-powered desalination system would both reduce water costs and give the town more control over its supply.
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