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Renewable Water Inventor Visits Water Authority

Marc Vergnet currently holds 18 patents including the Vergnet hydro-pump that supplies over 50 million people with drinking water around the world. The inventor of the world’s first reverse osmosis
26 Apr 2017 11:00
Renewable Water  Inventor Visits  Water Authority
Water Authority of Fiji chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai with the inventor of solar powered reverse osmosis desalination technology and counterpart of Mascara, Marc Vergnet.

Marc Vergnet currently holds 18 patents including the Vergnet hydro-pump that supplies over 50 million people with drinking water around the world.

The inventor of the world’s first reverse osmosis solar desalination technology and chief executive officer of Mascara, visited the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) last week.

The reverse osmosis process results in seawater being pushed through a filter that traps dissolved substances on one side and allows the collection of clean water on the other side.

“The idea is to give people access to water because a day will come when all these islands will be impacted by climate change,” said Marc Vergnet, referring to Fiji and the islands of the Pacific.

“Mascara Renewable Water developed the world first reverse osmosis solar desalination technology coupled with phovoltaic (solar panels) solar energy, without batteries making it possible to supply everyone, everywhere, with drinking water.”

Mr Vergnet’s French company is a specialist in desalination, with a product range of solar-powered desalination plants without batteries or carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions called OSMOSUN and his solar powered units have already benefited more than 110,000 villages in Africa.

“Today, solar energy is the cheapest in the world because the sun is free and solar energy is produced at $0.04 for 1 kilowatt-hour,” Mr Vergnet said. “These technologies have been tested by Mazda Abu Dhabi and the Gulf countries.  It works very well, is easy to maintain and is very economical.”

He was delighted to be back in Fiji to explore options where his company could assist WAF and the people of Fiji. He was here 16 years ago to install wind turbines at the Sigatoka Hills.

Mr Vergnet currently holds 18 patents including the Vergnet hydro-pump that supplies over 50 million people with drinking water around the world.

“I have been involved for 40 years in research and development, industrialisation of water, solar and wind power systems. It is my goal to give water and energy to the people especially those living in the rural areas,” he said.

He has invented numerous water pumps that have benefited many people in rural settings in various parts of the world like Africa, where he designed hydraulic pumps with a minimum of moving parts and with the main users – women – in mind as the lack of water was drastic and people were dying.

“These pumps are still in service after 30 years, working up to 15 hours a day,” he said.

WAF’s chief executive officer Opetaia Ravai thanked Mr Vergnet for his visit Fiji and sharing ideas about the new water technologies available that may help them, the people of Fiji and the Pacific in the future.

“We have 150 inhabited islands, many of which rely on rainfall or boreholes for their water supply. Solar-powered desalination plants would be an ideal solution for the islands,” Mr Ravai said.

Mr Vergnet also held discussions with the authority’s general manager for planning, design and construction, Nemani Waqanivalu, and a team of graduate engineers and environment officers.

Source: Water Authority of Fiji

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