U.S. Department of Energy conducted the competition ‘Waves to Water Prize’ to tackle the problem of water supply during disaster-relief scenarios and to remote coastal locations.
The design of a wave energy-based desalination system, made by IIT-Madras along with two foreign institutions, has won the first two stages of the competition for the ‘Waves to Water Prize’, organised by the U.S. Department of Energy.
While the competition mainly focused on designing a system that could be used for supplying potable water in disaster-relief scenarios and to remote coastal locations, the team from IIT-M said they designed it in such a way that it could be scaled up to tackle water shortage in countries such as India.
The team Nalu e Wai (Hawaiian for ‘waves into fresh water’), which created the design, was a collaboration between from IIT-M, University of Hawaii in Honolulu and Uppsala University in Sweden, a statement from IIT-M said.
The team was among 17 to win the design stage, which is the second of the four-stage competition, with total prize money of around $3.3 million, that saw participation from over 100 teams.
Abdus Samad, Professor, Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT-M, said, “The idea is new for portable small-scale wave-powered desalination devices. The application is of particular interest to the places like Chennai, where water scarcity is fast reaching critical levels,” he added.