Reverse osmosis (RO) is one of the most feasible methods of desalination to produce a supplemental freshwater supply. Because traditional RO desalination is energy-intensive, it is not a viable solution for remote Pacific islands where electricity is also in short supply. The utilization of wind power holds promise as a solution to this problem, as most of these remote islands are subject to constant trade winds. RO desalination of brackish groundwater, which is available in many of these islands, requires low feed water pressure that can be delivered by wind power at a moderate wind speed. Testing of a prototype wind-powered RO desalination system constructed on Coconut Island, a small island off the windward coast of Oahu, Hawaii, indicated that at an average wind speed of 8.5 m/s, a freshwater flow of over 4000 L/d can be produced. This volume is sufficient to meet the freshwater needs of a typical remote island community.

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