10:48 | 08/06/2016 Science - Technology
In addition to its “Light up the Spratly Islands” project, Vietnamese renewable energy firm SolarBK, in 2009, installed a hybrid power supply system using both wind and solar energy with a capacity of 824kWh per day.
SolarBK’s water and energy projects have changed the daily life in the Spratly Islands
The water source for military and daily use on the islands was unstable, mostly collected from rainfall and the mainland. Regional rain volume does not cover the demand for water and is not distributed equally throughout the year. The high volume of rainfall is concentrated around months with storms and tropical depressions – from May to October. Water supply transportation from the mainland is difficult and is one of the main factors limiting water resources on the islands.
For these reasons, the application of a desalination system to produce fresh water is a solution to providing enough water to meet the year-round demand on the island. The four-machine system provides around 18,000 litres per day of drinkable water. Each machine is designed to have a different capacity varying from 236-250 litres per hour. The system is powered by wind and solar power, consuming about 5kWh per cubic metres. The project will also contribute to saving on diesel costs for power generators. 90kWh generated from renewable energy will save approximately nine litres of diesel per day – an estimation based on a consumption rate of 3,385l per year. The renewable power generation will reduce CO2 emissions by 9,071.8 kilogrammes per year.
These positive results demonstrate the effectiveness and sustainability of pursuing clean energy and greater awareness in terms of environmental protection, and will give SolarBK added momentum in its research and development to scale the system to suit other remote islands or areas severely affected by salinity. “The pilot desalination project on the Southwest Cay Island” has earned SolarBK the Energy Globe in the National Awards of Vietnam 2016. Over 1,500 projects submitted from over 177 countries take part each year in these awards, with only the best project from each country chosen as an award recipient.
SolarBK is the first Vietnamese organisation to win the Energy Globe Award twice in a row, each time with projects that apply clean energy solutions to improve the living conditions and environment in the Spratly Islands. The company has shown its capability over the course of a decade implementing large-scale projects on the islands./.