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Tuesday, 22 November 2011


The Microsol project, developed in consortium with Schneider Electric, will produce electricity and drinking water locally through a solar thermal plant. It begins with a test phase of one year in Cadarache, prior to deployment in emerging markets.

The project Microsol has been selected as part of Investments for the Future. It is focused and driven by the industry Strategy & Innovation at Schneider Electric, with the participation of eight partners. Its aim is to equip people cut off from electricity grids and without access to clean waterwith simple devices but sustainable power generation and drinking water from natural resources.

Electricity And Drinking Water

The objective of Microsol is to convert solar heat into electrical energy without using batteries: the heat is stored in the form of hot water at low pressure. A solar thermal can heat to the medium temperature of water to generate electricity via a thermodynamic machine at 150 KWh per day which is enough to power nearly a hundred homes. Via a water desalination plant, the machine AquaStill provided by the company TMW, can also produce several cubic meters of drinking water by desalination of seawater or brackish water. The energy required for the process will come from excess heat produced by solar panels that can be converted into electricity.

A Prototype Collaborative

The operation, whose total budget amounts to 10.9 million euros, begins with the construction of a prototype of the Cadarache site (13) in cooperation with the National Institute of Solar Energy (INES) , a site with advantages in terms of sun exposure (2700 hours of sunshine per year).

Commercialization By 2014

If the test project Microsol is successful, a demonstration operation will take place in two African countries in late 2013, early 2014 for a period of one year. At this stage, the project will be supervised by the department of Sustainable Development of Schneider Electric for its business program BipBop (Business Innovation People for the Base of the Pyramid).

Today, the project involves nine partners, including: the CEA-INES; Exoès; Exosun, the Paris-LEME, the LEMTA-Nancy, Sophia-Antipolis Energy Development; Stiral, TMW and Schneider Electric.

Basma – Green Energy International Correspondent – 21/11/11

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