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The Winners

Team Helios from TUM, Germany, won the competition with their evaporation desalination system powered by a parabolic through collector of 13 meters length recycling old oil drums. The second place went to team Alavi from Iran who succeeded with an advanced solar still concept in combination with a photovoltaic powered ultra-sonic performance enhancement. The third place was achieved by team AgriBox from TUM growing crops in a greenhouse powered by solar thermal power and photovoltaics – a concept almost ready for the market and thus additionally awarded with the prize for market relevance accompanied with a business-plan-workshop to bring the concept from the development-status to market launch.

Team Helios

Team Alavi

Team AgriBox

For their outstanding innovative concept, team vAquIon was awarded with the prize for innovation. Their concept is based on a mechanical-vapor-compression principle enhanced by a total new application of an electro-static-steam compressor – patent approval pending! For the first time in the DeSal Challenge history, the jury assigned a prize for social relevance – team Cheap Water turned waste to water by recycling plastic bottles as small desalination units so easily that really everybody can do it, thus the ideal candidate for this award!

Team Cheap Water

Outstanding was the commitment of all teams for the goals of the TUM DeSal Challenge – to inform and motivate people all over the world, to draw attention and find solutions to the global water scarcity problem. The finalists carried bottles filled with balloons (symbolic water drops) to all continents, more than 150,000 km distance and were very creative in providing the water-drops to the world documenting it with pictures published at the DeSal Challenge facebook site. The team SolarPura won the prize for longest-distance travelled while team Membranos was awarded for the most beautiful picture.

Team Membranos

The competition was accompanied by a Young Scientists Colloquium where PhD students from Germany gave an overview of the most up-to-date research topics going on in the desalination and water treatment field. Alexandra Rommerskirchen, PhD student of DWI Leibniz Institut für Interaktive Materialien e.V., was awarded by Nicolas Heyn, president of Deutsche MeerwasserEntsalzung e.V., for the best presentation, especially due to her new thoughts presented in her talk about Water Desalination by Flow-Electrode Capacitive Deionization.

New ideas become alive when people support them – therefore the DeSal Challenge participants, both competition and colloquium, jury, sponsors and donators, industry partners and invited guests put all their thoughts together at the DeSal Networking Dinner with the motto sustainability. Amad Shahrouri from W. L. Gore & Associates launched a new business idea for open-source desalination plant designs called DDD - Do-it-yourself DeSal Design, which was well received by the finalist teams of the competition. The winner of the last competition in 2013, Raphael Wagensonner, impressed with the current developments of his concepts – while one PhD student focuses on the technical development of the membrane distillation plant, ten people are currently working to bring the system to the water market! Throughout the event, excellent atmosphere was guaranteed, last but not least due to so many motivated, highly engaged and joyful young people. The school teams and their teachers from Thomas-Mann-Gymnasium München and Gymnasium EssenWerden showed that technical motivation and fun complement each other!

In the end, the TUM DeSal Challenge was a very successful event and all participants are looking forward to the next in 2018!

Team The Thin Distillery

Team WUT Solar Tower


Final Ranking TUM DeSal Challenge 2016


Final Results TUM DeSal Challenge 2016


Water Desalination Report