How It Works

Our Technology

As the SAROS buoy rises and falls with passing swells, it works against its mooring tether to drive the pumps underneath the hood of the buoy. These pumps intake seawater and pump it back to shore under pressure. Before entering the desalination system, a device called the WaveBank transforms the surges of incoming water from the buoy into a smooth, steady stream of water into the reverse osmosis system. SAROS uses tried and true, off-the-shelf reverse osmosis systems which are among the most efficient systems in the world. These systems feature an energy recovery device that acts like a turbocharger for the incoming seawater, boosting the incoming pressure as well as providing massive energy savings. The water that comes out is fresh, clean, and ready to drink. No chemicals or pollutants are added at any point, and the reverse osmosis process removes salt, bacteria, and any other harmful contents from the seawater. All this powered only by the motion of the ocean.

While designing for optimal performance, SAROS engineers focus on maintaining the simplicity of the technology by using common components and keeping them above water to avoid complicated installation and maintenance. By concentrating only on water production and not producing electricity, SAROS has much higher efficiency. Part of the SAROS solution is going beyond the technology to allow end-users and communities to maintain their water management system. Eliminating energy-related emissions, SAROS’ design and adaptability provide a unique opportunity to supply clean water, expand the water supply, preserve ecological and environmental needs of communities and address economic issues of energy and water pricing.   
There is nothing more constant than change. SAROS recognizes that wave conditions can be variable. Whether it is a relatively calm day, or a tropical storm, SAROS is designed to put waves of all shapes and sizes to work. We have put a lot of effort into designing a high resolution power take-off that is sensitive enough to begin making water in waves as small as 8 inches, but robust enough to reliably capture energy from very large swell. This extremely broad operating range is critical when it comes to providing a dependable supply of water. Our unique power take-off has also been tested with an array of pump designs, allowing the system to be specially configured for applications even outside of desalination.
With results from our initial SAROS prototype, we are aiming for our SAROSv2 prototype to produce an average of 3500 gallons per day at full scale. SAROS’ ability for machine grouping enables communities to expand the outreach of the unit, enhancing the effectiveness of SAROS.

While designing for optimal performance, SAROS engineers focus on maintaining the simplicity of the technology by using common components and keeping them above water to avoid complicated installation and maintenance. By concentrating only on water production and not producing electricity, SAROS has much higher efficiency. Part of the SAROS solution is going beyond the technology to allow end-users and communities to maintain their water management system. Eliminating energy-related emissions, SAROS’ design and adaptability provide a unique opportunity to supply clean water, expand the water supply, preserve ecological and environmental needs of communities and address economic issues of energy and water pricing.

There is nothing more constant than change. SAROS recognizes that wave conditions can be variable. Whether it is a relatively calm day, or a tropical storm, SAROS is designed to put waves of all shapes and sizes to work. We have put a lot of effort into designing a high resolution power take-off that is sensitive enough to begin making water in waves as small as 8 inches, but robust enough to reliably capture energy from very large swell. This extremely broad operating range is critical when it comes to providing a dependable supply of water. Our unique power take-off has also been tested with an array of pump designs, allowing the system to be specially configured for applications even outside of desalination.

With results from our initial SAROS prototype, we are aiming for our SAROSv2 prototype to produce an average of 3500 gallons per day at full scale. SAROS’ ability for machine grouping enables communities to expand the outreach of the unit, enhancing the effectiveness of SAROS.

TIMELINE

September 2013

Idea for Saros

November 2013

Initial Designs

March 2014

SAROS’ first oceanic test

September 2014

Awarded Thomas Edison Award for dedication to sustainability

January 2015

Invited to join CLT Joules (Energy Accelerator Program)

March 2015

Awarded Top Charlotte Startup Hauser Award

June 2015

Finalist in Hello Tomorrow Conference and Competition, Paris, France

November 2015

Designs for 2nd Prototype began

March 2016

SAROSv2 is deployed

June 2016

Awarded Best Technical Paper and Presentation at Caribbean Desalination  Association Biennial Conference

June 2016

Pilot study site visit-Caja de Muertos, Puerto Rico

July 2016

Wilmington office and test site is opened for 24/7 oceanic testing

October 2016

Graco and Spectra Watermakers provide equipment for SAROSv2.5 as upgrades Begin

November 2016

Clean drinking water is made with newest prototype (including Graco pump and Spectra Watermakers)

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What’s Next?

A significant supply of energy exists in our oceans, yet harnessing this energy in a useful and efficient manner has been a challenge. With focus placed on using the most powerful waves to produce the electricity, other options have been overlooked.

SAROS began as a Senior Design Project at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with a goal to prove it was possible to pressurize water sufficiently to perform Reverse Osmosis (RO) using only wave energy.

To capture this wave type, we developed the concept of the floating pendulum. Our next step was to conduct simulated tests of pendulum action and its responses to ocean swells. We then began developing a complete design and working prototype capable of producing fresh water from the ocean.

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3120 Latrobe Dr. Suite 279

Charlotte, NC 28211

Wilmington Office

311 Judges Road, Unit 13D

Wilmington, NC 28405