Sea Water Greenhouse
• The technology was introduced by British inventor Charlie Paton in the early 1990s and is being developed by his UK Company Seawater Greenhouse Ltd.
• The seawater greenhouse is a response to the global water crisis.
• A seawater greenhouse is a greenhouse structure that enables the growth of crops in arid regions, using seawater and solar energy.
• The technique involves pumping seawater (or allowing it to gravitate if below sea level) to an arid location and then subjecting it to following
I. It is used to humidify and cool the air.
II. It is evaporated by solar heating and distilled to produce fresh water.
III. Finally, the remaining humidified air is expelled from the greenhouse and used to improve growing conditions for outdoor plants.
IV. The more concentrated salt water may either be further evaporated for the production of salt and other elements, or discharged back to the sea.
Regions and criteria:
• Seawater Greenhouse systems operate most efficiently and achieve greatest profitability when they are located in arid regions, in proximity to the sea and close to consumer end markets.
• The distance and elevation from the sea must be evaluated considering the energy required to pump water to the site.
• The system does not rely on scarce fresh water, costly desalination equipment or fossil-fuel driven greenhouse climate control systems.
• Even in the most hostile, arid regions, the Seawater Greenhouse can create ideal growing conditions for crops inside the greenhouse and produce fresh water for irrigation, using only seawater and sunlight.
• The technology can be used to produce a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers etc. in most of the world's driest regions. The Greenhouses can be adapted to suit a variety of customers, from small to large-scale growers.
• Seawater Greenhouse growers can therefore enjoy these advantages from both an economic and environmental perspective.