How will teams with auxiliary systems such as pretreatment and heat storage be judged against teams that actually produce desalinated water? How will ZLD systems be judged against desalination?
The technical challenges are vastly different and many auxiliary systems cannot be judged in isolation. For example, heat storage must be matched to a particular desalination method for both storage quantity, heat transfer, and temperature before costs can even be considered.
A sample of the judging criteria in the rules: "The solution represents a significant improvement over existing state-of-the-art competing technologies sufficient to attract interest from investors, customers, and commercial partners" and " The proposed performance metrics and technical milestones are ambitious relative to the state of the art, reduce technology risk, and can be realistically achieved by the proposed technology."
Stage I winners span vastly different technology spaces ranging from desalination, ZLD, heat storage and pretreatment (apologies if I have left out any winners). Advances relative to the state of the art, reductions in technical risk are quite different in each technology. How will they be judged against one another?