Energy-efficient and energy self-sufficient systems are especially suitable for arid and semi-arid regions where there is an abundance of solar radiation but a lack of desalination plants and water pump systems. For this reason, the Fraunhofer Water Systems Alliance has developed plants for desalinating seawater which work on a reverse osmosis basis running e.g. on photovoltaic modules (PV).
The main focus is placed on systems where the PV generator is coupled directly to the desalination process. Efficient concepts for recycling energy play a major role in these developments.
Water infrastructure systems have a lot to contribute to intelligent load management because a number of their components permits energy to be stored and loads to be spread over time. This compensates for the energy fluctuations which affect networks due to increasing proportions of energy from regenerative sources and it also minimizes capacities required for storing electric energy. The result is water and energy supply networks with a very high percentage of power generators running on regenerative energy.