REAPower targets an innovative concept based on the reverse electrodialysis technology. This technology consists of the extraction of the “osmotic energy” from two salt solutions showing a large difference in salt concentration, what is called salinity gradient power (SGP).
For fueling the process, constant supply of two water streams with a salinity difference is necessary. Up to now, SGP research focused mainly on the combination of fresh water as the low concentration solution and seawater as the high concentration solution. However this approach has important disadvantages as the low salinity water increases the electrical resistance.
REAPower is overcoming this limitation by using brine and sea or brackish water for generating electricity.
The consortium worked on optimising materials and components tailored to the requirements of the SGP-RE technology operating with high salinity brine and seawater, developed and verified a simulation model through tests on laboratory stacks, evaluated and improved the performance of the overall system through tests on a prototype fed with real brine from a salt pond, analysed the economics, assessed the perspectives of the technology and defined the next R&D activities that are needed aiming at an eventual commercialisation.