Grino invented a new battery-free solar-based desalination system. Grino applies an innovative solution to combine two abundant resources (Seawater and Sun energy) and provide high-quality water with minimum maintenance. Their decentralized solution applies in any restricted area where water is needed, without the downside of a high brine disposal.

Removing batteries and operating in a dynamic mood decreases energy losses, reduces CAPEX and OPEX, and increases water production. This adaptable operation enables longer working hours. Our smart control system automatically follows the solar curve and manages the operation of the borehole pump, feed pump, and high-pressure pump separately. The speed of pumps varies regarding the fluctuation of solar power in different weather conditions and times of the day. Besides, Grino’s systems work completely automatically and do not need any operator.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

GRINO: 844 million people have no access to clean water, and they are suffering from water shortage in daily life. Water shortage is growing up all over the world because of global warming. Many regions of the world, such as South America, the Middle East, and Africa face the huge problem of saline water. The scarcity of drinking water is becoming one of the most pressing global problems, especially in remote areas.

We have four main customer groups to inter to these areas:

  • NGO´s & Governments, who know the areas which need water, and they are in direct contact with local communities. Like our first pilot project in Ghana that was supported by two foundations.
  • Micro-Grid Companies with a focus on remote areas: The business model of these companies is to install solar panels in remote areas and sell electricity. We can have productive cooperation with them to have our desalination system beside their solar hubs or improve their energy distribution and produce water as a by-product beside energy, which is even more expensive than electricity.
  • Hotel: Green hotels or islands also are a great potential customer for Grino. They need reliable and high-quality water for daily use and for the customers who care for having sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions and products.
  • Agriculture: Soon, we are planning to enter the agriculture market and produce water for farming.

E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products?

GRINO: We have commissioned our pilot project in Ghana and already started the second project in Nigeria. At the same time, we received financial support to develop our Micro-Grid version and to install 3 systems, which will be probably in Africa, the Middle East, and South America.

 In addition, we are manufacturing a new test bench for our R&D projects. In this project is financed by DBU (https://www.dbu.de/), and together with our project partner, fem (https://www.fem-online.de/en/content/institute), we will develop an accelerated test system. This accelerated test bench simulates the three years of the dynamic operation of the system in three months. Based on the results, we can develop the next generation of Grino’s products.

E.E: What are the ranges of traded products?

GRINO: The ranges are:

  • Seawater models: max. salinity 45000 ppm;
  • Grino-SW6: Max. water production 240 l/h;
  • Grino-SW24: Max. water production 1040 l/h;
  • Grino-SW70: Max. water production 2090 l/h;
  • Brackish water models:  max. salinity 2000 ppm;
  • Grino-BW6: Max. water production 250 l/h;
  • Grino-BW48: Max. water production 2000 l/h;
  • Grino-BW100: Max. water production 4200 l/h.

E.E: At what stag e is the market where you are currently active?

GRINO: 14,9 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to USD 18.8 billion by 2022. To narrow down the market, out of the 14,9 billion, the water treatment for reuse can be excluded as it is not yet in the Grino product portfolio. Exclusively based on the market of reverse osmosis, the market is 9,9 billion USD. Parts of these comprehensive forecasts of the renowned research of Global Water Intelligence show a promising market growth of 7,2 percent p.a. on average (2016-2022), especially for seawater and brackish water desalination up to a market volume of USD 12,8 billion in 2022. Customer purchases in these two areas are the fastest-growing market segments for water treatment systems. Grino’s offer is in line with the trend of market demand and offers high value in return for an affordable one-off investment.

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

GRINO: Batteries are responsible for 40% of the lifetime costs of the conventional solar water desalination systems, as they should be changed every 3-5 years. Besides, the battery needs additional energy conversion stages (charging and discharging), which reduces the efficiency of the system. Removing batteries can reduce 60% of the energy losses.

Grino system is also fully automatic, which means that even starting and stopping the system is fully automatic. This unique feature reduces operator costs and increases water production capacity. The system starts automatically as soon as solar energy is enough to start the system therefore, the user doesn’t lose even one minute of the production time and it is not dependent on the presence of the operator. Also, the studies show there is a high possibility that solar energy can drop to 15% every day. It means that at least once a day, solar energy is not enough to run the system. Therefore, the operator should restart the system again. But in Grino technology, first of all, the dynamic performance of the system, allows us to divide the energy consumption between the pumps, and just in case of sharp energy reduction, the system goes to standby mode and restart itself automatically as soon as energy is enough again. This unique method increases water production and reduces operator costs.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

GRINO: Next year our focus will be on the market entrance. First, we will install our new pilot projects, which are already financed. These pilot projects facilitate marketing activities. We planned to have more distributors and start our series production.

In addition, our R&D projects also give us the opportunity to improve our current technology or even develop new products.