Bringing a modular technology for fresh water sea-transportation to full scale

Welcome to XXL-REFRESH – a sustainable solution for long distance water transport

A FULL SCALE TEST OF THE SYSTEM WAS SUCCESSFULLY PERFORMED IN DECEMBER 2015.

SEE THE DOCUMENTARY SHOT BY EURONEWS http://www.euronews.com/2016/01/25/the-big-bag-theory-a-cheap-and-innovative

Water is the most vital resource for human life.

Scarcity of fresh water is an issue of increasing importance for the Mediterranean area and worldwide: urbanisation, extensive irrigation and the variations in rainfall patterns due to global climate change have led to over-exploitation of existing aquifers and reservoirs across the Mediterranean; in addition, massive tourist influx is putting even more pressure on the already limited resources during the summer season.

Such very large seasonal fluctuation in demand, the already limited availability of water resources and the geographically isolated location of many tourist destinations demand innovative, flexible and affordable solutions for the bulk transport of large quantities of fresh water from water-rich to water-poor regions.

The FP7 project REFRESH developed and successfully tested at small scale an innovative product/service for the sea transport of fresh water, by developing a flexible and cost effective solution based on the use of modular flexible plastic containers (waterbags) towed by a tugboat.

The XXL-REFRESH project was born to address the challenge of scaling up the REFRESH concept to commercial size – more than ten times the original payload.

The project, started in September 2013 and ended in December 2015, has:

  • re-designed the REFRESH concept - 10x payload, easier handling, lower drag
  • manufactured a commercial size prototype
  • tested the waterbag at sea off the coast of Spain

XXL-REFRESH is a SME-targeted Demonstration project funded within the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement no. 606423.


XXL-REFRESH inflated on ground

XXL-REFRESH moored, tugboat approaching