Frequently asked questions concerning the TUM DeSal Challenge


  • How extensive should the application for the TUM DeSal Challenge be?

    The application should consist of a description (up to four pages) and one to two sketches. The description should outline the system functionality, a rough cost and time estimate for the project and the expected team profile. The thermodynamic design will be considered during the evaluation. The application is evaluated with 100 points (from a total of 1,000 points) - 50 percent for the concept of the desalination plant, 50 percent for the application itself (structure, completeness, communication of the idea, design).

  • Our team is not yet complete. Can team members be subsequently added?

    Yes, as long as the team does not have more than six members. A change in the team leader must be approved by the jury.

  • Can the team consist of people from different countries or universities/secondary schools?

    Yes, it doesn’t matter from which country or university/secondary school the team members come from.

  • Is there a minimum number of team members?

    The minimum is one, however the competition encourages a team concept, which usually produces better results. We therefore recommend that the teams have at least 2 members.

  • Do the team members have to be students at the date of application or at the day of competition?

    Every member must show his/her student or school ID on the day of the finals.

  • Climates vary widely in different regions of the world. Is it possible to define a specific region and to develop the plant according to the local weather conditions?

    You can define your project based on specific climate conditions as long as they apply to regions with scarce water resources.

  • During the finals, the plants will be assembled and operated for 7 hours. Since irradiation in Germany is much lower compared what the plant would actually experience in the field, will the amount of drinking water produced under the prevailing conditions influence the score?

    The amount of water produced will be measured in accordance with the conditions that prevail on the day of the competition. All teams will therefore be competing under the same conditions to ensure a fair evaluation.

  • Apart from salt, sea water consists of other substances unsuitable for drinking water, such as fine and coarse silt and bacteria. How far does the additional filtration and purification of the water influence the score? After the desalination, a highly-concentrated brine or pure salt remains. Are ideas for disposal or re-use also evaluated or does this play a secondary role?

    The salt water provided for the competition is normal tap water enriched with salt. There are no plans to judge filter devices and systems for disposing of or recycling salt. However, good ideas and solutions will be rewarded in the Design and Engineering category.

  • How accurately must the operation of the plant follow the description? Are small technical changes allowed?

    Although the plants must function in accordance with the project description, subsequent changes can be carried out with the approval of the jury.

  • Does every team receive 1,000 euros?

    Yes, every team that qualifies for the competition is eligible to receive 1,000 euros for development of the prototype plant.

  • Can a teacher participate in the competition with more than one team?

    Yes, a teacher is allowed to support multiple teams, as long as the teams are not building the same plant.

  • How much may the prototype plant cost?

    The cost of the prototype must not exceed 2,000 euros.

Entry TUM DeSal Challenge 2016






If you are interested in participating in the 2016 TUM DeSal Challenge,

we will be happy to send you all the information you need.





Detailed Information about the TUM DeSal Challenge to download.


pdf TUM DeSal Challenge Information Brochure



Detailed Information about the TUM DeSal Challenge and about the sponsoring possibilites to download.


 pdf TUM DeSal Sponsor Brochure


Competition Agreement TUM DeSal Challenge 2016


pdf Competition Agreement 2016 TUM DeSal Challenge (Version 2015-12-03)