India’s first ever solar powered reverse osmosis (RO) plant installed by Barefoot College produces 600 litres of water per hour for 6 hours every day, providing access to drinking water for over 1000 villagers.
How it works
The solar powered RO systems are installed in regions with TDS (Total Dissolved Salts) in the groundwater. The system provides good quality drinking water through reverse osmosis: water flows at a high pressure through a thin membrane. The purified water is free of salts and contaminants, which are stored in tanks and collected from pipes in the evening.
The RO plant is powered by a 2.5 kilowatt power plant which helps it to produce 600 litres of water per hour for 6 hours every day. Previously, the plant was powered by the standard electric grid, but the energy flow was erratic and supplied energy to the plant for only about three hours at a time. For this reason the plant has been solar electrified to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity for the entire day, with some power to spare for a computer, a solar workshop, fans and light.
The RO plant reduces the locally available brackish water with a salinity of Total Dissolved Solid (TDS) at 4000-6000 parts per million to only 450ppm, making the water both safe to drink and free of any salty taste. The plant meets the drinking water needs of more than 1,000 men, women and children from Kotri and its surrounding villages. Each family can take 40 litres of water every day in exchange for a small monthly payment.