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Solar Desalination

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Solar desalination system for utilisation of saline and low-grade water

Solar Desalination Greenhouse (SDGH) is a system that integrates the use of both halophytic (salt tolerant) and glycophytic (non-salt tolerant) crops. This integrated system aims to optimize crop yield through saline water regeneration. The SDGH technology merges the principles of greenhouse design with the humidification-dehumidification process to desalinate saltwater and grow halophytes in vertical farming systems. The evaporation of saline water, enhanced by the microclimate within the greenhouse, enables the SDGH to produce fresh water. In this setup, halophytes play a crucial role by desalinating incoming brackish water. They absorb the saline water, accumulate salts within their tissues, and release water back into the environment through evapotranspiration. The evapotranspired water is then condensed via active and passive condensation systems, producing fresh water, which can then be used to grow glycophytic crops.

Demo sites:

Gozo is the second largest of the Maltese islands and is located 5.25 km northwest of the larger sister island of Malta. Its area is only 67km2 and according to the latest census the population is 39.287.  The capital Victoria is found right in the middle of the island.


Gozo is known as the “Island of the three hills” due to the numerous hills found around the island, and since it is less developed than Malta it is also greener.  The island has economic and social specificities as well as challenges that arise from the combined effects of double insularity, environmental vulnerability, population density and limited resources.

Considered to be more fertile than Malta, Gozo depends heavily on agriculture, producing fruit, vegetables, grapes, and dairy products. Fishing is also important, and tourism is one of the most important economic activities. The island is linked to Malta by ferry.

The Solar Desalination Greenhouse will be tested in 2 locations; the the Government Experimental Farm in Xewkija and a field in Għarb.

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