The supply of clean drinking water is of great concern in many remote coastal areas. One method of providing this clean water is the process of desalination of seawater. This process generally requires either high temperatures (evaporation processes) or very high pressures (6MPa for reverse osmosis processes).
Current research at the University of Southampton focuses on the development of a wave powered stand- alone system for desalination and/or electricity production. A high pressure pump has been developed for pressurization of seawater for direct use in a reverse osmosis desalination process. The high pressure pump is driven by a supply of water, of 2 meter head, delivered by a simple wave energy converter. The proposed system has the benefit of simple technology and possesses significant potential for use in developing countries. This paper focuses on the device which will deliver water to the high pressure pump. The delivery device constitutes a wave energy converter and uses the principles common to most Oscillating Water Column (OWC) systems to pump water.