Ringtrough – A Fresh Water Solution for Millions of People


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About

The Problem – Water Scarcity 

Worldwide droughts are causing water shortages and suffering for tens of millions of people.  The last option for a new water source is the ocean, but seawater is not drinkable without undergoing a process called desalination.  Today, over 20,000 desalination plants remove salt from seawater to produce fresh water.  However, these plants are expensive to build and use little or no renewable energy to operate them.  This makes them suitable only where they are affordable and have a fossil fuel based energy source to power them.

The Solution – Affordable Desalination

The combination of desalination and renewable energy on a utility scale has not been achieved until now.  My invention is a variation of concentrated solar power using parabolic troughs.  40′ (12m) wide curved mirrors reflect sunlight onto a 6″ (15cm) pipe, heating up the seawater flowing through it, to just above the boiling point.  The 230°F (110°C) seawater is then sprayed into a standard flash distillation tank to separate the salt.  The output is fresh water and the brine is sent back to the ocean.  Today 60% of all desalination plants use this process, but they use fossil fuels to heat the seawater.  My invention uses 100% reflected sunlight to heat the seawater.

The Invention – The Ringtrough

For 10 years I’ve been working on developing the next generation of solar parabolic trough called the “Ringtrough”, with the goal of creating the most efficient form of renewable energy from the sun. The conceptual design and material selections are complete and desalination is first application.

The Company – JennSolar – Ten Years

The first 6 years were spent self-educating, inventing, writing and obtaining the fully granted patents in the US, Australia and South Africa.

The last 4 years have been spent refining the conceptual design, determining the target market, bootstrapping the startup and assembling the business team to move this from invention to innovation.

The Goal – Engineering the Prototype

The funding obtained here will be used to create a complete set of plans and specifications for the Prototype. The prototype will be an operational 12m³ (3000 gal) per hour desalination plant for testing the Ringtrough, the focal line assemblies and all ancillary equipment and systems needed to desalinate. The cost to outsource the engineering and to manage the design process for 8 months is covered by this crowdfunding goal.

The Founder – Kevin Jennings – NYC Builder

30 years of onsite construction and consulting in New York City on hundreds of projects including several of the tallest buildings in the city. I have a solid engineering, construction and business knowledge base and fully understand what is required to make this happen.

The JennSolar Team in my pool
The JennSolar Team in my pool

The Team  

  • Al Weggeman –25 years of CEO/COO experience leading multiple private equity owned enterprises in the engineered product & technology space
  • Jessica Jennings – Event manager on 350 events for 500,000 people including many “A” list artists
  • Kevin Smith – Serial entrepreneur and experienced operations manager
  • Andi Smith – Creative director
  • Peter Ferrio –My oldest and dearest friend and owner of an IT company

Renewable, Portable, Scalable, Common, Reusable Design

The Ringtrough will use 100% renewable energy to desalinate water, making the system portable, energy independent and operationally inexpensive. It will be a scalable system to furnish the targeted daily output and will be designed with non-proprietary materials and systems to facilitate simple construction using common building materials in standard material sizes. Each Ringtrough unit can be disassembled, transported and reused elsewhere for a variety of applications and markets.

The Ringtrough Advantages

The Ringtrough will achieve double the efficiency of existing parabolic troughs designs due to its unique structural and mechanical advantages. The structure uses a rotating ring beam which allows the Ringtrough to have a  12m (40′) aperture (mirror width), which is twice the aperture of existing troughs . This will focus twice the sunlight onto the same length of collector tube.

Conceptual Rendering of the Ringtrough with a 12m (40’) aperture 

Note: The collector tube is not attached to the mirror and will remain fixed and piped solid 

The unique mechanical advantage is the collector tube does not move or rotate, it is piped solid to the manifolds. This allows the substitution of much larger focal line assemblies, including piping for heating seawater directly in the collector tube for desalination. No other trough design can do this.

Final Thoughts and Appeal

The JennSolar team is absolutely certain that the Ringtrough will become a permanent part of the future of renewable energy.  A successful Kickstarter campaign will continue our journey to give millions of people affordable access to fresh water and accelerate the worldwide shift to renewable energy. I hope you join us.

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This article and images were originally posted on [kickstarter]. Credit to Author and kickstarter | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day

 

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