Water Energy - Systems and Management

Since recently, the water energy nexus subset has begun expanding its areas of interest beyond just water treatment. Having identified the presence of this subtle yet undeniable nexus in the fields of energy production (in particular thermoelectric power plants) and irrigation, the water treatment group has built up expertise in research, investigation and realization of projects on these topics. Our work focuses on the reduction of dependency on fossil fuels and on economizing energy and water use.

Plant Engineering and Systems - PV-Pumping Systems and Irrigation

Given our long-standing expertise with autonomous systems and our recent expansion into the water energy nexus sphere, we at Fraunhofer ISE have realised projects on autonomous solar irrigation. With a large percentage of farms in developing nations disconnected from the electric grid, fossil fuels are often their go-to solution. Our team has sought to develop autonomous irrigation systems – e.g. solar PV-pump systems - to help farmers water their plots with minimal fossil fuel dependency. Autonomous solar PV-pump systems have been realized and working modules of the same have been deployed in India and Egypt with much success.

The organically acquired proficiency of the group in membrane desalination systems has also allowed us to develop and patent new energy recovery techniques for use in desalination plants, thereby rendering membrane desalination systems less energy intensive.

Water Management for CSP-Plants

Water and Energy are some of the most wasted resources on planet earth. Inefficient methods of extraction and use of energy and water are often observed. In the recent past, the water treatment group participated in projects that address reducing stress on energy and water resources through the implementation of smart and efficient management techniques.

From the reuse of process water in concentrating solar power plants (CSP plants) to the load management with seawater desalination as a flexible load and increasing the share of renewable energies in the energy supply, our team is actively involved in helping to pave the road towards effective and sustainable consumption of water and energy. We have even worked with and developed embedded energy management systems within several of the realized water energy nexus projects.

At Fraunhofer ISE, we welcome opportunities and proposals for consulting, research and development of projects that seek to find sustainable solutions in the field of the water energy nexus.