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Desalination Project, Daru, PNG; Revolutionizing Water Access with the Daru Solar Powered Desalination Project

01 January 2024

The Vision

Water, the essence of life, remains a distant dream for over 850 million people worldwide, with a staggering 80% of them residing in rural communities. This sobering reality has sparked a visionary endeavor: the Daru Solar Powered Desalination Project. A groundbreaking collaboration between IAI and LR GROUP, this initiative seeks to harness sustainable technology to provide clean and safe potable water to the most remote corners of the globe.

The Challenges

Daru Island, nestled in one of the planet’s most isolated regions, grapples with chronic water shortages that plague its populace. Historically, water supply relied on diesel-powered pumps stationed on the mainland, initiating a logistical labyrinth of fuel delivery. Barrels of fuel embarked on a sea journey lasting weeks, from Port Moresby to Daru, eventually reaching the distant pumping station. The island’s aged water grid further compounded the challenges, fraught with technical glitches and mechanical issues. This multifaceted struggle translated into a lack of access to safe water and adequate sanitation facilities for Daru’s inhabitants.

The Project

Commissioned by the PNG Sustainable Development Program, LR GROUP embarked on a mission to engineer a holistic and sustainable water solution for rural communities, with Daru as the pilot. The result: a pioneering, self-reliant solar-powered desalination plant, an innovative achievement. This facility not only yields an average of 1,500 cubic meters (CM) of potable water daily but also showcases a scalable capacity of up to 2,000 CM.

At the heart of the system lies a state-of-the-art Photo Voltaic (PV) Power Supply System. This environmentally friendly alternative energy source provides uninterrupted energy for 24/7 water supply, dramatically curtailing the reliance on costly diesel and generators. The PV power generation system features cutting-edge module technology, featuring a capacity of 1 megawatt peak (MWp) solar panels and a 2.8 megawatt-hour (MWh) energy storage battery, delivering a remarkable 1.6 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually. Designed with the future in mind, both the solar array and storage system are fully scalable to accommodate surges in water demand.

The Impact

The Daru Solar Powered Desalination Project is not just a technological breakthrough; it is a lifeline for the communities it serves. This pioneering initiative heralds an era of consistent, clean, and safe water supply for Daru’s residents, rendering the long and difficult journeys for water a thing of the past. The technology’s scalability ensures its potential to uplift other rural communities in dire need of clean water access. Beyond quenching thirst, this project fosters a healthier environment, empowering the residents to lead healthier, more dignified lives.

In a world where access to water is a fundamental right, the Daru Solar Powered Desalination Project stands as a beacon of hope, bridging gaps and driving progress in the realms of technology, sustainability, and human welfare.