Innovation That Matters

Boreal Light provides fresh water to off-grid communities | Photo source mrjn Photography on Unsplash

Bringing desalination to off-grid areas


A Berlin-based desalination company has developed a versatile system that can be adapted for a variety of off-grid uses

Spotted: In 2021, the global water desalination market was valued at $1.45 billion (around €1.38 billion), and it is projected to reach $35.5 billion by 2031. But there is more to desalination than money – there is also the need to help communities stressed by the effects of increasing pollution, changing weather patterns, and deforestation. It is this aspect of desalination that has motivated startup Boreal Light.

The company specialises in the design and manufacture of affordable solar-powered desalination systems for off-grid communities around the globe. The company’s Winture Planet Cube is an outdoor water desalination system that uses 100 per cent solar energy. The system can turn highly saline seawater and brackish water into up to 30,000 litres of contamination-free drinking water each hour. The system uses a simplified version of reverse osmosis – where water is purified using a semi-permeable membrane.

Beyond providing the desalination system, Boreal also provides 24/7 service and support, and designs add-ons for specific uses. For example, their Winture Planet Green add-on is a drip irrigation system connected to the Planet Cube and designed for use on farms. It incorporates sensors, which are placed around the crops, and notify the system when to water and how much water to release. Another add-on designed for hospitals uses ozone disinfection to treat water, ensuring no bacteria or viruses remain in the outflow.

The company prides itself on its involvement with local communities, saying, “we are not only building machines in our workshop in Berlin. We want to see the impact we create and talk, understand, and be with the people who need and use our solutions the most.”

The growth of desalination has led to a number of fascinating innovations, especially with systems that use solar power. At Springwise, we have already covered a solar-powered distillation system that does not produce brine as a byproduct and a portable solar desalination system that is much cheaper to use than other versions. 

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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