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First sun powered desalinition plant ever

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    Posted: 09 Jul 2009 at 01:39
This is a post for my friend "Carchadoron" (yes, not because we argue quite a bit, we couldn't be friends LOL). I told him before that a Swedish has put a solar powdered desalination plant in the Chilean north during the 19the century. Well, I am sorry I was wrong. It wasn't a Swedish put an American. This is the story, anyways.
 
By the way, I submit another thread about an American that build the first railways in Chile and founding the first steamship line of Western South America. So, this case of Americans making ventures down south is not strange at all.
 
 
Now, the story. Unfortunately there is very few material in English. I will put what is available and the rest will be in Spanish, plus pictures.
 
Source 1, in Spanish: 
 
Some pictures:
 
Charles Wilson, the American engineer and enterpreneur
 
 
The only references I found in English are from here:
 

Solar distillation can be used to make saline or brackish water potable. The first recorded instance of this was by 16th century Arab alchemists.[48] A large-scale solar distillation project was first constructed in 1872 in the Chilean mining town of Las Salinas.[49] The plant, which had solar collection area of 4,700 m², could produce up to 22,700 L per day and operated for 40 years.[49] Individual still designs include single-slope, double-slope (or greenhouse type), vertical, conical, inverted absorber, multi-wick, and multiple effect.[48] These stills can operate in passive, active, or hybrid modes. Double-slope stills are the most economical for decentralized domestic purposes, while active multiple effect units are more suitable for large-scale applications.[48]

 


Edited by pinguin - 09 Jul 2009 at 02:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2009 at 09:52
Thank you for the post. Very interesting indeed.
 
Sometimes one wonders why solar power is not more developed today than it really is. Maybe it is because there are still rather plenty of oil, coal and similar around. Also the building of nuclear plants and hydroelectric dams are more easy thus hindering the potential for solar power, wind power, wave power and similar to be fully exploited.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2009 at 01:44
In fact, in that same region, about a century ago, water was available from some extensions of natural sources, so the sun desalination plant was discontinued. However, development, mining and population growth has forced Antofagasta to desalinize sea water once again. However, this time reverse osmosis is used, which consumes conventional energy. However, there are studies to go to sun powered desalination once again.
 
Here, El Coloso reverse osmosis plant:
 
 
 
Anyways, it seem some people is interested in returning to the old sun powered system:
 
 
The north of Chile is extremely arid, so desalination is nothing new in the region, although still most water comes from the rivers.
 
Other project you may be interested is the fogcatcher. A device delevoped in Chile to capture humidity from coastal fog and convert them into water.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2011 at 12:24
I hoped Carcha commented on the second one.


Edited by pinguin - 06 Mar 2011 at 12:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2011 at 20:01
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Other project you may be interested is the fogcatcher. A device delevoped in Chile to capture humidity from coastal fog and convert them into water.
Developed in Chile with Canadian help
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Mar 2011 at 21:14
Yes, there were some Canadian investors. The inventors were Chileans, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 03:45
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Yes, there were some Canadian investors....
Wrong yet again!

The Canadian Govt did not invest except in the largest sense.

We never ask for money we've donated as foreign aid to be repaid-the sad fact that you try to minimise Canadian involvement shows your chronic inferiority complex is alive and suppurating.

In fact the project would have foundered without Canadian largesse.

You're Welcome-A La Orden!




Edited by whalebreath - 07 Mar 2011 at 03:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 04:24
The fact that you care about Canadian involvement speaks far more about inferiority complexes than Pingo's posts. Why is Canada subsidising Chilean research anyway?? Foriegn aid to Chilean Engineering faculties?
Quote Sometimes one wonders why solar power is not more developed today than it really is. Maybe it is because there are still rather plenty of oil, coal and similar around. Also the building of nuclear plants and hydroelectric dams are more easy thus hindering the potential for solar power, wind power, wave power and similar to be fully exploited.
Solar thermal and photovoltaics is actually very well developed. Especially compared to coal or nuclear when they were first deployed. What it lacks is government investment in power plants. Gone are the days of the first half of the 20th century when governments would hand big checks to build in the national interest.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 06:41
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

The fact that you care about Canadian involvement speaks far more about inferiority complexes than Pingo's posts. Why is Canada subsidising Chilean research anyway?? Foriegn aid to Chilean Engineering faculties?
The technology that Canada funded is applicable in many coastal desert area not just Chile-Peru, Ecuador and Namibia come to mind-Germans have lately been instrumental in spreading the idea.

The fact that I care means I keep track of how my tax dollars are being spent, and having twice travelled to poor desert areas in South America I have a personal interest in seeing people's lives changed for the better-poverty tears @ my guts in case you wondered. 

===================================

Further to solar power there have been many small scale applications in the developing world that have changed old paradigms-solar powered cell phone receivers/chargers come to mind.




Edited by whalebreath - 07 Mar 2011 at 06:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 13:07
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

The fact that you care about Canadian involvement speaks far more about inferiority complexes than Pingo's posts. Why is Canada subsidising Chilean research anyway?? Foriegn aid to Chilean Engineering faculties?...


Indeed. We should keep away these big mouth colaborators.
Chile doesn't need foreign aid anymore, and less from a country that will always remember us how much money it contributed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 13:08
Originally posted by whalebreath whalebreath wrote:


The technology that Canada funded is applicable in many coastal desert area not just Chile-Peru, Ecuador and Namibia come to mind-Germans have lately been instrumental in spreading the idea.


Technology that Chileans invented. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 19:07
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by whalebreath whalebreath wrote:


The technology that Canada funded is applicable in many coastal desert area not just Chile-Peru, Ecuador and Namibia come to mind-Germans have lately been instrumental in spreading the idea.


Technology that Chileans invented.
And the Canadian Government funded-Yes.

If Chile no longer needs foreign aid why doesn't the Chilean Gov't fund worthy projects for the poor like the Fog Catchers?

The answer of course is a political one. Ouch


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There aren't many poors left in Chile, I am afraid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 19:51
Now, are we insinuating that these plants, were designed only to produce "fresh water", I.e., non-saline?
 
You must but look at the name of the town "Las Salinas" to deduce that the real plan was to produce Salt!
 
The recovery of "fresh water" from the evaporation of salty water, exposed to the Sun, is as old as the Earth!  Except, in all of the natural and early man made "evaporation" flats or pans, etc., the "fresh water" just entered the atmosphere, and the "salts" remained!
 
Don't make more of this than is required.
 
Regards,
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 19:54
Nope. Those are desalination plants to recover water, not salt. We have lot of salt in Chile and it is no need to evaporate sea water to obtain it. Just pick up from the ground in certain parts of the north.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 20:05
Then why the name "Las Salinas?"  Does it not mean "the Salts?"
Come on my "fine featheread" friend, in the past, one could not ever obtain too much Salt!  Too many fish to preserve, and too many mouths to feed!
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 21:26
Salinas means place were you obtain salt, indeed. But it can be by evaporation or a salt mine. It doesn't matter.

In any case, the post above was about a desalination plant. The first industrial scale desalination plant worldwide.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 22:57
Originally posted by whalebreath whalebreath wrote:

Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by whalebreath whalebreath wrote:


The technology that Canada funded is applicable in many coastal desert area not just Chile-Peru, Ecuador and Namibia come to mind-Germans have lately been instrumental in spreading the idea.


Technology that Chileans invented.
And the Canadian Government funded-Yes.

If Chile no longer needs foreign aid why doesn't the Chilean Gov't fund worthy projects for the poor like the Fog Catchers?

The answer of course is a political one. Ouch
Why doesn't Canada deal with the poverty just across it's own border in Buffalo if it cares so much?
Or is this just paternalism to the "visable minorities"?
 
Don't get me wrong here, research funding is a good thing, and if Canada really wants to fund other peoples universities I'm not going to complain. I'll take your money with gratitude. But don't turn around and give me the high & mightly "Canadians are such good people" attitude just because you happened to fund some Chileans with a great idea. I'll bet you've also funded some flop projects too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 23:00
Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

Now, are we insinuating that these plants, were designed only to produce "fresh water", I.e., non-saline?
 
You must but look at the name of the town "Las Salinas" to deduce that the real plan was to produce Salt!
How does that in any way diminish the acheviment? The hard part is catching the water and preventing salt build up. Solving that on an industrial scale is much harder than solving it in your kitchen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 23:52
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Why doesn't Canada deal with the poverty just across it's own border in Buffalo if it cares so much?
Or is this just paternalism to the "visable minorities"?
 
Don't get me wrong here, research funding is a good thing, and if Canada really wants to fund other peoples universities I'm not going to complain. I'll take your money with gratitude. But don't turn around and give me the high & mightly "Canadians are such good people" attitude just because you happened to fund some Chileans with a great idea. I'll bet you've also funded some flop projects too.


LOL

Excellent points.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Mar 2011 at 23:54
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

....
How does that in any way diminish the acheviment? The hard part is catching the water and preventing salt build up. Solving that on an industrial scale is much harder than solving it in your kitchen.


Indeed. It was a great idea. There are still ruins of that project in Las Salinas, near Antofagasta, Chile. Today, reverse osmosis plants there are doing the same job.


Edited by pinguin - 07 Mar 2011 at 23:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2011 at 01:15
But, in the same vein, just what is the "by-product?"  It is, of course "Salt!", and if you don't know, there are various scales of this product, which certain persons, world-wide, pay rediculous prices!  If pans/ veins/layers of salt were enough, then Israel would now be the richest place on the planet!
 
Regards,
 
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Here, we have salt to export. In fact, one of the main salt business in Chile is to export it to U.S.A. and Europe, for salting the snow in winter time.

We have, literally, mountains of salt.







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2011 at 02:18
My dear fine featherered friend from the "deep South", you are correct!  But, solar salt pans in France, and other places, are also favored by their flavor and the amount of disolved minerals, etc., and as such much favored by a certain clan of salt affectionados!
 
It seems your salt is much favored by "Yankees!"
 
I am, it seems, a salt addict!
 
Regards,
 
Ron


Edited by opuslola - 08 Mar 2011 at 02:19
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Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

But, in the same vein, just what is the "by-product?"  It is, of course "Salt!", and if you don't know, there are various scales of this product, which certain persons, world-wide, pay rediculous prices!  If pans/ veins/layers of salt were enough, then Israel would now be the richest place on the planet!
 
Regards,
 
Ron
I have to say, I'm not sure what your point is. So salt is a salable by product of desalination? Doesn't that just make it a win-win scenario? You get fresh water and mechandise?
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Originally posted by opuslola opuslola wrote:

My dear fine featherered friend from the "deep South", you are correct!  But, solar salt pans in France, and other places, are also favored by their flavor and the amount of disolved minerals, etc., and as such much favored by a certain clan of salt affectionados!
 
It seems your salt is much favored by "Yankees!"
 
I am, it seems, a salt addict!
 
Regards,
 
Ron


Indeed. This is a main producer of salt in Chile. Perhaps you can buy it abroad with the same brand




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2011 at 02:42
My dear Omar,  wrote; "I have to say, I'm not sure what your point is. So salt is a salable by product of desalination? Doesn't that just make it a win-win scenario? You get fresh water and mechandise?"
 
Yes, of course, it is a "Win-Win" situation!
 
The history of Salt, should be a big subject on this site? I wonder why it is not?
 
Regards,
 
Ron
 
Addendum;
 
I did notice that there exists an earlier thread concerning "salt-petre'"/ salt peter!  I would suggest that this is a most unused area?   Even in the "War or Northern Agression" the taking of Southern "saltpetre'" supplies was amongst the most important acts of the Agressive armies!
 
Regards


Edited by opuslola - 08 Mar 2011 at 02:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2011 at 23:28
Salpeter is not salt. It is a fertilizer and a main component of gunpowder.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Mar 2011 at 23:57
But, actually, urine is highly salty!  And it is not called "salt-petre'" for nothing!
 
But, you  have just hit upon an important part of its importance!  It was the/a  predecessor to the "Manhatten Project", etc.!
 
Regards,
 
Ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote whalebreath Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Mar 2011 at 17:39
Originally posted by Omar al Hashim Omar al Hashim wrote:

Why doesn't Canada deal with the poverty just across it's own border in Buffalo if it cares so much?

The answer of course is a political one-US Americans are even more thin skinned than Chileans.
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