Who, What & Where

  • Grino Water Solutions GmbH
  • Battery-free and off-grid water desalination system (6m3/day including 24 PV panels which can provide about 8 kWp)
  • Cape Coast, Ghana

The Company

Grino is a cleantech spin-off company from Friedrich-Alexander-University. We provide a permanent solution against the global water shortage. Grino provides battery-free solar-based desalination systems. Powering the system with solar energy keeps it independent from all power grids and stays renewable. Removing of batteries makes Grino one of the most economic desalination systems in the world. The innovative process created by Grino allows the desalination unit to work dynamically. In contrast to current technologies, Grino adopts completely automatically to the sunlight. The power management minimises energy losses and maximises water production, even in cloudy and rainy weather conditions. Our solution does not need any infrastructure and can meet all restrictions in any limited and remote areas. Grino can produce high-quality drinking water from any type of water including sea, brackish, or groundwater.

The Challenge

In Ghana, nearly three million people rely on surface water to meet their daily water needs, leaving them vulnerable to water-related illness and disease. Cape Coast does not have any reliable drinking water resources. People are suffering from low-quality drinking water, which even does not have an affordable price and is not always available. Every year many students leave school, as they are in charge of water for their families.

The objective of this project was to provide drinking water for more than 1,000 people including 600 students from two coastal schools and 400 members of the local community.

Renewable Solution

Ghana has a huge potential for renewable resources like solar energy and seawater.

Our system in Ghana does not need any energy supply and our solar-based desalination can provide all its required energy. Seawater and sun energy as the most abundant resources in the world are all our requirements to meet any limitation. By removing the batteries, not only does our system stand alone for up to 15 years with the lowest maintenance but also the invented control system can run the system in dynamic situations and control the quality of the water and whole operation conditions. It means that our system can work fully automatically and does not need an operator. To guarantee the quality of water and predict upcoming operation problems, a remote monitoring system is also included.

Project Financing and Costs

The project is financed by Innovation und Zukunft Stiftung to build up an innovative stand-alone system to desalinate seawater and to produce clean drinking water powered by solar. The business model of the non-profit project is to have free water for students and selling 30% of the water in their container to compensate for the maintenance and ensure the sustainability of the system. This model provides a long-term social and environmental impact.

Project Outcome

The outcome of the project was the delivery of an independent water supply for 1,000 people.

To have the best water distribution model, four different water containers were separately fixed. As a result, Jacob Wilson-Say school and Philip Quaque School students will have separate access to the water resource. In addition, one extra container was provided exclusively for the community. About 30% of water production will be sold to the people at an affordable price to compensate for the small maintenance costs and ensure the sustainability of the project. Grino is pleased that the impact of the project includes not only access to clean water but also resulted in the hiring of two employees and the empowerment of local businesses.

The entire Cape Coast experienced an interruption in water supply between 15-20 October 2020. During the shutdown period, Grino proved the independence of the system. Our desalination system was working without any problems and was producing water for the small community around as the single water source.