CSP: Green Cucumbers from the Sahara

salt water, food crisis, desalination, vegetalles, CSP, climate change, deserts, world food program

A Saltwater Greenhouse Grows Vegetables In Places Vegetables Won’t Grow

Cucumber may be a vegetable that thrives in hot weather, but growing in the Quatar Sahara?

The cucumber is a plant that is quite thirsty!

And, as you know, the Sahara desert is extreme dry.

The greenhouse has a cardboard screen at one end with hundreds of small holes in it. Saltwater trickles down from above and evaporates as it meets hot air coming in from outside. The air indoors becomes humid and up to 15 degrees Celsius cooler than normal, while the moisture condensates on the plants, helping them to grow. At the same time, the greenhouse also has a series of pipes full of cold ocean water. When warm air hits the pipes, droplets form on the surface, which are captured and used for irrigation.

The greenhouse has a cardboard screen at one end with hundreds of small holes in it. Saltwater trickles down from above and evaporates as it meets hot air coming in from outside. The air indoors becomes humid and up to 15 degrees Celsius cooler than normal, while the moisture condensates on the plants, helping them to grow.
At the same time, the greenhouse also has a series of pipes full of cold ocean water. When warm air hits the pipes, droplets form on the surface, which are captured and used for irrigation.

Salt water for cooling

This project is a combination of CSP by salt water-cooled greenhouses, solar panels and desalination techniques to grow vegetables on other on-mineable country. The salt that is released is sold to third parties.

The key to the project is not located separately in each technique, but more in how they work together.

In this CSP plant, sea water is used for cooling. The vapor and thus humidity, ensures that the cucumbers require minimal water and still provide a good yield. The result is an abundance of fresh cucumbers which normally have to be imported.

There is an urgent need to produce food in our deserts using brackish water or seawater. It is a challenge to produce enough food, water and energy for a population which will grow to 9 billion people by 2050. Water-cooled CSP plants are one of the solutions to provide all that people in a way that matters.

The project creates re-vegetation and green jobs through profitable production of food, water, clean electricity and biomass in desert areas in Quatar and Jordan.

Watch the video about Concentrated Solar Power Systems

Energy storage

At this week’s Solar Power International conference, a group of executives from Abengoa Solar, BrightSource Energy and SolarReserve spoke about where opportunities lie for their businesses.

While they still plan eventually to build projects in the U.S., the three companies are turning to countries where they say CSP with storage offers a higher value.

Kevin Smith, the CEO of SolarReserve: A lot of us are running around internationally, These are countries with less-developed grids where the value of storage is better realized.

 

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