Comparisons of Technical and Economic Performance of the Main Desalination Processes with and without Renewable Energy Coupling

Ali Al-Karaghouli, Lawrence L. Kazmerski

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

6 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Two main technologies are used in water desalination: thermal distillation (phase-change) processes and membrane processes. The thermal distillation processes include multistage flash distillation, multi-effect distillation, and vapor compression. The common membrane desalination processes are reverse osmosis and electrodialysis. In thermal distillation processes, two energy forms are required for operation. The first is heat, which represents the main portion of the energy input and is usually supplied to the system by a number of external sources. The second is electricity, which drives the system's pumps and other electrical components. For membrane processes, only electricity is required as an energy input. This paper overviews the technical and economics of the main desalination processes. It also discusses renewable energy (thermal and electrical) as viable options for renewable energy-driven desalination installations. Power consumption and current projected cost of water produced from each process are discussed and compared.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages1996-2003
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2012
EventWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference - Denver, CO, United States
Duration: 13 May 201217 May 2012

Conference

ConferenceWorld Renewable Energy Forum, WREF 2012, Including World Renewable Energy Congress XII and Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDenver, CO
Period13/05/1217/05/12

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5900-54735

Keywords

  • desalination process
  • membrane processes
  • technical analysis
  • thermal distillation

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