Dutch King opens world's first RED power plant driven on fresh-salt water mixing
Dutch King Willem-Alexander put the world's first blue-energy RED power plant to use on 26 November.
The plant is located on the closure dam Afsluitdijk, the Netherlands, and produces electricity directly from the difference in salt concentration in the surface water on each side of the dam.
The pilot plant is operated by RedStack, the company that developed the technology based on reverse electro dialysis (RED), using special designed membranes.
Blue Energy is a joint development of Redstack, FujiFilm and water technology knowledge institute Wetsus.The Blue energy pilot plant mixes fresh and salt surface water.
Theoretically, with 1m3/s river water and an equal amount of sea water approximately 1 MW of renewable electricity can be recovered.
The pilot plant on the Afsluitdijk is to produce 50 kW blue-energy per hour and will show the technical feasibility in real life conditions using fresh IJsselmeer water and salt water from the Wadden Sea.
Big potential energy source
At the current location on the closure dam Afsluitdijk, the potential production of blue-energy can be sufficient for the energy requirements of 500,000 households.
An exploration of suitable rivers in the world shows that there is a potential electricity production of 1,600 TWh annually.
Blue Energy has the advantage that it can be generated continually, contrary to solar and wind energy, which are both dependent on availability and the weather.
The expectation is that Blue Energy will succeed in generating energy for 8 eurocents per kilowatt-hour.The pilot plant includes three buffer tanks, two pretreatment filters and 8 membranes stacks.
Electro dialysis versus osmosis
Redstack is world's first to produce blue energy based on reverse electro dialysis (RED).
In 2009 Norwegian energy company Statkraft opened a pilot plant (10kW) based on mixing fresh and salt water, using pressure retarded osmosis (PRO). The salt gradient leads to a high water pressure that generates a turbine.
RED technology electricity has the advantage it can be generated directly from the membranes in one process step.
RedStack is a Dutch spin-off company from water technology research centre Wetsus and was founded in 2005. It's mission is to develop and commercialise reverse electro-dialysis (RED) and related technologies.
Also read on this website
● Fujifilm starts production line for blue energy membranes in Tilburg, the Netherlands, 19 September 2014
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Video on the development of the reverse electro dialysis (RED) technology (2009).