IBM and the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Saudi Arabia's national research and development organization, have established a research collaboration aimed at creating a water desalination plant powered by solar electricity, which the partners say could significantly reduce water and energy costs.
A new, energy-efficient desalination plant with an expected production capacity of 30,000 cubic meters per day will be built in the city of Al Khafji to serve 100,000 people. KACST plans to power the plant with the ultra-high concentrator photovoltaic (UHCPV) technology that is being jointly developed by IBM and KACST. UHCPV technology is capable of operating a CPV system at a concentration greater than 1,500 suns, according to the research partners.
Inside the plant, the desalination process will involve another IBM-KACST jointly developed technology, and a nanomembrane that filters out salts and potentially harmful toxins in water while using less energy than other forms of water purification.Â