Oneka Technologies wins the US Waves to Water 2022 competition

Sherbrooke, July 11th 2022 — The Quebec company Oneka Technologies recently received a $729,000USD award for its Snowflake desalination technology by winning the Waves to Water grand prize from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The competition’s goal was to accelerate the development of desalination technologies capable of harnessing ocean waves’ energy to create drinkable water to meet the needs of remote coastal communities and populations affected by natural disasters or extreme climate change events.

By winning the Waves to Water Competition, the Snowflake desalination buoy designed by Oneka Technologies was recognized by the DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as an accessible and efficient solution for supplying drinking water in an environmentally responsible manner. During the ocean demonstration, alongside three competing American-based companies, it stood out for its technical performance and commercial potential. Compact and pre-assembled, the Snowflake buoy can be deployed quickly at sea, without technical expertise, and can generate up to 10,000 liters of drinking water per week with minimal maintenance.

The world’s water resources are composed of 97% ocean saltwater. Current conventional desalination plants are controversial due to their relatively high consumption of energy, the resulting high operating costs, and their impact on the surrounding marine ecosystems. An eco-responsible and affordable process to desalinate seawater is necessary to increase resilience to climate change.  Many island or remote communities cannot afford conventional desalination plants and are looking for alternative solutions to their water supply. “This is where our Snowflake buoy comes in,” said Dragan Tutic, founder and CEO of Oneka Technologies.

“This competition is a golden opportunity for innovative companies like ours to demonstrate their technology’s great potential and propel the commercialization internationally. The design and development of our Snowflake buoy required a lot of teamwork, but seeing it perform so well in the ocean during the challenge has made our team members very proud. This is what gives us the motivation to continue our business development efforts,” explains Gilbert Perron, engineer and project manager at Oneka Technologies. The launch of a documentary in the summer of 2022 on the overall experience of the Oneka Technologies team during the U.S. DOE Challenge will allow them to share their experience and inspire other technology companies to participate in this type of event to foster the commercialization of their innovation.

Following the successful technology demonstration of the Snowflake buoy during the U.S. competition, the company launched its Icecube product class to be used for small volume commercial water production applications. This product class, whose primary focus is the ease of shipping and deployment with minimal tools, is intended for emergency disaster response, as well as for longer-term solutions due to its ease of operation and maintenance it offers local communities. For larger volume applications, such as communities of a few thousand people, coastal industries, or even tourist establishments with more than 100 rooms, the Iceberg product class would be preferred. Projects consisting of several Iceberg units will be able to supply more than one million liters per day (1000 m3/day) of freshwater with arrays of several buoys that will produce 30 to 50 m3 each. Finally, along with the deployment of the Icecube units and Iceberg projects, Oneka will develop a system that will be optimized for water-intensive industries and municipalities of more than 100,000 people with high-volume, low-cost, zero-emission production. More information to come in 2022.

About Oneka Technologies

Oneka Technologies is a Quebec-based company working in the water technology sector, with a growing international presence with projects in Canada, the United States, and Chile. Its mission is to make the oceans a sustainable and affordable source of freshwater. Founded in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 2015, the company employs more than 25 employees and also has a workshop and a demonstration center in Florida, USA.

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Source and information:

Camille St-Pierre, Communications and Marketing Manager

Oneka Technologies

+1 (819) 485-0335, ext 711