Virtual DESRES classroom

This training action is the first online course focused on the topic “desalination by renewable energies”. It is offered two possible courses depending of the training level. An introductory level which summarizes the main relevant aspects of desalination (membrane and distillation processes) and the application of renewable energy technologies for autonomous operation.And an advance level which raisesin deep the desalination and renewable energies, the combination of both and several collateral topics related to the application of renewable energy technologies for autonomous desalination.

Theseonline coursesare based on an interactive and friendly use philosophy and are developed into several chapters with several intermediate questionnaires for the evaluation. Glossaries, videos, games, and other elements complete the training process. The student will know his/her progress in any moment.

The purpose is that the online student is the main leader of his/her own training process in a flexible way: the students with high time restrictions will be able to complete it with a minimum dedication of ten hours; on the other hand, the courses will offer several complementary training options for the students with more time or specific interest.

The original conception of this training activity was developed under the framework of the PRODES project (; an EU co-financed project within the Intelligent Energy for Europe Program.

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Learning objectives

The purpose of these courses is to provide students with the latest knowledge of the different existing technologies involving the use of renewable energies to drive desalination technologies.

Target group

The course is proposed for professionals, students and those who have an interest in the desalination and renewable energies fields. In general, the introductory course does not require preliminary knowledge and could be complementary for professional staff working for cooperation companies, NGO’s, research centres, etc.

Courses structure

A carefully selected material has been elaborated to be offered in a friendly use format.Within each course, each module starts and ends on specified days. The students are free to study and do the specific chapter tests in his/her own time. Each chapter ends with a test for which participants have to use their newly acquired knowledge. Questions with regard to the chapters are posted on the forums which want to stimulate the interactive discussion from fellow students.


Participants complete the course in a period of about ONE month (3-4 weeks) with a workload of 20 hours. A participant is expected to spend about 1 hour per day on reading, participating on forums and assignments. The course is sub-divided into 9 modules, 1 practical case and specific tests.

This course is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese languages edition.


Participants complete the course in a period of about THREE months (12 weeks) with a workload of 120 hours. A participant is expected to spend about 1 hour per day on reading, participating on forums and assignments. The course is sub-divided into 9compulsory modules, 6 optative ones, exams and one written assignment.

This course is available only in English language edition.

Main contents of the courses

  • Concepts on Desalination and Renewable Energies.
  • Membrane desalinationprocesses (EDR, RO).
  • Distillation processes (MED, MSF, H/D, MD).
  • Wind energy.
  • Solar energy.
  • Solar thermal energy and MED.
  • Solar thermal energy coupled with H/D or MD.
  • Solar photovoltaic energy powered RO systems.
  • Wind energy powered RO systems.
  • Other technologies and combinations.
  • Non-technical aspects.
  • Practical cases and extended works.


The teachers of the courses are part of the staff of the Water Department. They have an extensive experience in the field of desalination and renewable energies from 1996. With more than 15 different combinations of desalination plants and renewable energy systems installed and operated, they have experience in real actions in Africa with five photovoltaic driven reverse osmosis units in operation.

Vicente Subiela Eng.:Head of Section of the Water Department. He has been working directly in several RE driven desalination projects (solar distillation, Wind powered desalination systems, PVRO). He has been researcher and Projects coordinator of European projects on desalination, and manager of several pilot seawater desalination projects tested in the ITC facilities since 1998. Eight publications

Juan A. de la Fuente MSc.: Researcher in the Water Department, working on desalination projects dedicated to the evaluation of different desalination systems powered by renewable energy sources (mainly solar photovoltaic and wind energy); as well as testing of different energy recovery systems for small production capacity SWRO desalination plants.

Baltasar Peñate Ph.D. Eng.: Head of Water Department - Manager and Coordinator of regional and European projects on desalination driven by renewable energies, non-conventional wastewater treatment, water quality and water management and sustainability (Programs: MEDA, INTERREG, FP, INCOMED, DGTREN, Spanish Cooperation in Africa…)

Other relevant information

How do the courses work?

Start reading the section “README FIRST” with the main instructions about the use of the course. The mandatory elements to be completed are the chapters (reply the question after each lesson of the chapter), the quiz, the practical case and at least one participation in the forum of each chapter. On the other hand, the training platform offers you a wide set of interesting optional activities, which complement very well the content of the course.

Are the courses tutor supported?

Yes, a teacher will evaluate part of your training process, particularly your intervention in the forums of the chapters, wherein he will reply to your comments.

Will I get a Qualification?

After completing all the mandatory elements you will be able to download aITC certificate of the completion of the course, similar to a certificate of attendance, with your name, your final mark and the date.

Which are the examinations?

The grade obtained in the course is calculated according to the following:

  1. Lessons of the chapter: 30%
  2. Quiz: 30%
  3. Practical case/extended work: 20%
  4. Participation in the forums: 20%
  5. Complementary elements: + 10%. This is to evaluate the implication, participation and use of elements 2.0 (games, reading of glossary, videos, podcasts and rest of elements located in the home page…)

How to Register?

Online – Use our online information form.

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