Statkraft Plans World’s First Osmotic Power Plant

Photo: Statkraft

Photo: Statkraft

Statkraft aims to build the world’s first pilot plant for osmotic power production. The osmotic power plant at Sunndalsøra, Norway can be finished in 2015.

Statkraft has applied for license to build an osmotic power plant, which they expect to get by February 2013. It is expected to take two years to complete the osmotic power plant.

The first pilot plant
The osmotic power plant would then become the first pilot plant in the world of its kind. Statkraft has for three years tested the technology in a prototype, though this produced no more than a few kilowatts, enough to power a couple of coffee machines.

Now they intend to take the development of osmotic power one step further. The pilot plant at Sunndalsøra will get a capacity of 1 to 2 MW and an annual production rate of consumption of 250 to 500 households.

The membrane is the main component of a salt plant. Statkraft has collaborated with researchers in Norway and other countries to improve membrane technology.

Osmosis
The technology is based on the natural phenomenon of osmosis, in which water penetrates a membrane. When freshwater and saltwater recorded on each side of a semi-permeable membrane differential pressure occurs, because the salt molecules in the seawater draw fresh water through the membrane. The pressure corresponds theoretically a waterfall of 120 meters and can be used in a conventional turbine.

No conflicts
The plant would be built in an industrial area where Statkraft already owns a plot. Water collected from the outlet of Aura power, while salt water pumped from 40 metre depth in Tingvollfjorden.

The Department of Fisheries says in its consultation paper that the facility does not conflict with aquaculture or fisheries interests. It is not expected to have any negative impact on other natural resources.

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