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Hydro 5 Tinos

HYDRO5 is a nature-inspired, low-cost solar driven desalination system based on the principles of evaporation and condensation, which is implemented in Tinos Island.

Seawater and brine from the existing desalination plant is treated in the Mangrove Still System to produce freshwater and salt.

The treated water is channeled to a 200 m2 greenhouse irrigating tropical plants. Freshwater is produced in the Saltwater Evaporation Greenhouse, where atmospheric moisture is generated and then converted into usable fresh water by means of condensation. Mangroves and halophytes are planted to enhance this process.

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Level of operation

Municipality – Private Business

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Types of water treatment

Sea Water

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By products

Reclaimed water for irrigation, edible salt, tropical fruits

Read more about HYDRO5

The desalination system is composed of a series of interconnected desalination panels where evaporation and condensation processes occur. The outputs of each unit are distilled water and brine. In addition, each unit can gather occasional rainwater falling on its external surface. Once the feed water is pumped into the tank, the hydraulic circuit works by gravity.

The water produced by the panels, together with the rainwater, are collected and pumped to a cultivation greenhouse while the brine is pumped to a salt factory. In this unit salt is produced by evaporation and ventilation of the brine. The produced water is used to irrigate a greenhouse and produce tropical fruits.

Furthermore, a Saltwater Evaporation Greenhouse (SEG) is developed. In this system the combination of evaporation and transpiration is intended to generate atmospheric moisture, which is converted into usable fresh water by means of condensation. In the greenhouse halophytes and mangroves are planted to optimize the evaporation. Fresh water will be used to improve productivity of t3he tropical fruits cultivation greenhouse.

Construction Phase

The construction phase of the Mangrove Still system can be divided into the following phases.

The first phase involves the preparation of the site, where the ground was properly leveled, and the distribution points of the electrical cables and the hydraulic pipelines were determined.

The second phase refers to the installation of the electrical infrastructure of the pilot system, such as assembling the electrical equipment, connecting the appropriate devices such as pumps, etc.

Then, the installation of the support structure of all three functional units was conducted: i) Mangrove Still Unit ii) Salt Factory iii) Rainwater Collection System, together with the final placement of the main equipment and the connection of all hydraulic components.

By the end of September 2020, the installation of Mangrove was completed, and minor improvements were identified during the start-up that followed.

Regarding the Saltwater Evaporation Greenhouse (SEG), the construction phase included the landscaping of the space, applying compost and fertile soil. Then, the foundations of the greenhouse were laid, while the tropical plants were planted in parallel with the construction work.

Operational Phase

The Mangrove Still System (MSS) configuration was installed at the site between July and September 2020.

During September 2020 the system was running in a trial mode, while the evaluating operation period started at the end of May-beginning of June 2021.

According to current measurements the system operates in line with the required production KPIs (210 L/d of freshwater and 2 kg/d of salt).

In order to monitor the MSS operation and enable controlling and automating capabilities of HYDRO5, a PLC system with online (industrial and low-cost) equipment has been installed.

The monitoring strategy is complemented by the sampling campaigns for that are running since May 2021, in order to ensure the high quality of the irrigation water.

Physico-chemical analysis is also conducted in the inlet and outlet of the system (seawater and brine, respectively) to monitor the desalination process. Lab analysis will be conducted within the next months to check if the produced salt complies with the required standards to be used as a food additive/ ingredient.


  • Produce sweet water from saltwater/brine
  • Decrease import of tropical fruits
  • Simultaneous production of salt


  • 180-200m³/year seawater
  • 70> m³/year freshwater production from saltwater/brine
  • 1.5> tons tropical fruits


200 L/d of fresh water is produced from seawater, brine and rainwater;>2 kg/d recovered salt