NREL Challenge

Welcome to the Solar Desalination Challenge!

Thank you for following the Solar Desalination Challenge here on HeroX! We will be posting updates here as they become available.
14 Replies

chin K
Is this challenge, is it aimed at the utilization of solar infrared radiation (thermal energy)?
Or are we allowed to integrate photovoltaic electrical energy to run a novel water purification &/or a desalination technology of our own design, and if so how many liters of water would we have to produce with it per hour to be deemed pheasable, and is their any size limitations to our system? Thanks
Modified on Oct. 31, 2019, 5:23 p.m. PDT

chin K
Hi, nevermind I see your addendum, bc i sure didnt see the answer the first few times I read it :) but another another question, we are allowed to use electricity in this challenge say like to run a pump to feed the system and or to harvest the water we've created &/or harvesting the briney water byproduct to support a new seawater mining process ?

NREL Challenge
Thanks for your question! Specific requirements regarding which technologies will be considered for this prize will be outlined when the prize rules are released. We will post a notification through this platform when those become available. Thank you for your patience.

Feng Shi
Where to submit application?

Dennis Stilwell
I would love to see a challenge with different entry levels. Too often the winners of challenges are either already existing companies show casing their already existing technology or Universities show casing there already existing technology. By having different entry levels an inventor working in a garage would have a fair shot and some real novel ideas could come to life and possible new startups as a result.

Joe Frisbie
@Dennis Stilwell
You bring up two valid points. The guy in his garage and little known existing technology. After 9/11 there was a panic to create detection technology. Someone brought out the point that it would be extremely easier to stash an atomic weapon on a container ship than it was to fly planes into targets. So Homeland Security put out a development request for long-range scanning capacity. They gave a development time of one year and ten million dollars for this "new" technology.
Some bright garage engineers, like you, had already thought of this and even before the project specification had come out. Over the period of 2-3 months had created such a device with off the shelf parts for about $ 39,000 which had more than double the range of the development specification. Don't remember what happened, but knowing the way government works the project is still sitting in someone's inbox.
Tagged: Dennis Stilwell

Egis Seputis
Let me in!

Will there be a second round competition as other "contests" have had? Name
has there been an anouncement of first round winners?

Theodore Reich
Hello! May we have an ETA on announcements and updated timelines for following phases? Thanks very much!

Any winners yet?

Its ridiculous, at this point, to not have an official announcement contact of team captains for banking transfers.
It's clear the collegiate crowd are preparing mass genocide, with an unlikely weapon, Space. YES America has sold itself on the abilities of space travel and survival mass structural suicide.
I say go get the hell off this planet quickly, because you sure dont want to live on earth and tackle the true climate and consumption problem you've caused.
It's time to confront the officials of this site and those within government, who have stolen 160 original plans and refuse to offer any official explanation.

Vance Turner
Good job all, if you add up all the energy saved by all the entrants it doesn't save 1/2 of what we accomplished. Now when anyone here wants to see the worlds most efficient work cycle based on only 3 phases.
1) pressure above atmosphere
2)high speed condensation/implosion
3)vacuum to atmosphere

When someone here who didn't sleep through thermodynamics gets this, and wants to chat. write me at

We just go validated by one of the largest desalination projects ever and they get it...US Government related folks need not contact me, I done with them.

Vance, I can assure you that I did not sleep through any of my Thermo classes.

I have a passing familiarity with hypersonic flow, and have been interested in pulse jets since engineering school at SDSU. But I must confess that I don't understand how your device creates the high pressure jet resulting in hypersonic flow.
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