Osmotic power plant to debut in Norway  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

Cleantech.com has an article on a Norwegian power plant demonstrating power from osmosis, quoting some large potential numbers for global power generation (I'd love to see an EROEI calculation for this - could it be positive ?) - Osmotic power plant to receive royal debut in Norway.

The world’s first osmotic power plant is expected to open next month at Tofte, outside of Oslo. And the facility will be getting an imperial unveiling from the Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway.

The plant, being developed by Norwegian state-owned electricity company Statkraft, is expected to generate power from energy retrieved from the difference in the salt concentration between seawater and river water, Statkraft said today.

With the technology, saltwater and freshwater are funneled into separate chambers, divided by an artificial semi-permeable membrane, according to Statkraft. The salt molecules in the seawater pull the freshwater through the membrane, increasing pressure on the seawater side. The pressure comes in the form of a 120-meter water column or waterfall that can be utilized in a power generating turbine.

Statkraft said today it has been researching the renewable and emissions-free energy source for the past 10 years.

In theory, osmotic power plants can be located wherever rivers meet the sea. The plants are quiet and can be integrated into existing industrial zones, such as the basements of industrial buildings, the company said.

The prototype—which has been under development for more than a year in cooperation with research and development organizations from various countries—is expected to open Nov. 24, with limited, undisclosed production capacity. It will be used for testing and development. Financial details were also not disclosed.

Within a few years, Statkraft plans to construct a commercial osmotic power plant.

Statkraft said the global potential of osmotic power is estimated at 1,600-1,700 terrawatt hours per year, or the same as 50 percent of the European Union’s total power production.

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