Solar Powered Desalination – Sustainable Water for the Future

As consumers are moving increasingly towards renewable energy in their homes, there is growing pressure for the business community to follow suit. In line with this endeavour, researchers at Monash University have developed an energy-passive system that uses the sun to produce clean water from salt water. Currently, roughly 3% of the world’s energy supply is used in the process of water treatment – an enormous amount of typically non-renewable energy. The solar steam generator developed is a disc composed of a water attracting material layered with carbon nanotubes to increase sunlight absorption, attached to a water supply. As sunlight is concentrated on the disc, heating it, water is drawn up into the disc, salt in the water is expelled to the disc edges to crystallise where gravity causes it to fall off the disc, and steam is generated. This is an advantage over other solar powered desalination systems as the automatic purging of the salt from the disc allows the process to run continuously (over 600 hours) without relying on manually removing accumulated salt on the surface of photothermal materials.

 

As researchers develop processes like this which are becoming increasingly efficient we will see the move to solely rely on renewable energy to provide us with our water supply. Additionally, these developments highlight the opportunity that our society has largely ignored to recover precious resources from waste. The research team envision this technology has potential applications in other fields such as industry wastewater zero liquid discharge, sludge dewatering, mining tailings management and resource recovery.

 

The university has put out a fascinating video showing the process here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=8&v=OGZVhcQ33MQ

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Completion of the Kensington House!

Our cottage extension project in Kensington has reached completion! The builders, Ismart Building Group, have just finished the interior cabinetry and finishes. Have a look at the beautiful wooden floorboards, the deck that the living area spills out onto and the impressive wall length built in wardrobe in the cantilevered master bedroom. We cannot wait to see the clients move in, fill it with furniture, and make the space their own. For photos of the progress head to the project page here: http://ecohabit.com.au/project/kensington-residence/

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How Does Modular Construction Work?

What is modular construction? Our director, Adrian, recently presented to lecturers at TAFE on updates and innovations in the construction industry, including modular and prefab construction. Modular construction is the use of prefabricated components, made off-site in a factory, built in components of specific sizes that can be repeated. These can be of varying forms and sizes, from small simple components to sizeable assembled structures. The most common in the building industry are large units composed of multiple boxes – we find the most efficient for housing units around 15mx4.2m, however depending on the project these can range in size up to 18mx6m. These are built off site in a factory to 95% completion, including being fitted with built in furniture and cabinetry. While in the construction of the modules, the site is prepared. This includes demolition of any existing structures, any earthworks, and the construction of the foundations. Once both the modules and the site preparation is completed, the modules are loaded onto the back of a truck and transported to site. They are then craned, guided and secured into place by the construction team. Electricity and plumbing are connected and the house is good to go.

 

You can see this process on one of our modular projects, including a video here of one of our modular projects being craned into site: http://ecohabit.com.au/project/ecohabit-modular-house/

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