Developing Renewable Energy Applications for Water Treatment Technologies and Transmission

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The need for smaller treatment facilities for more isolated or rural municipal entities and industrial water treatment facilities continues to grow. From environmental justice and energy needs in remote communities that have never been serviced by larger scale utilities to smaller onsite treatment requirements to meet discharge regulations, energy efficient treatment systems that can leverage renewable energy sources can be an important asset to owners. Climate change and population dynamics have changed the needs for distributed water treatment systems and the manner in which they function. New treatment technologies that can operate under dynamic conditions and leverage variable energy sources (e.g., renewable energy, RE) can provide substantial efficiencies and cost savings. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is embarking on research projects that will perform multi-scale studies to investigate treatment technologies on varying source water quality that can operate under unsteady state flow conditions (timing) in response to energy availability, supply, and demand. A pilot-scale system will be built to assess modularity and scaling of treatment system operating conditions and performance. Modeling will also be used to determine feasibility and integration into grid emulation platforms to understand the use and value of operation with RE. Optimization will be completed for the treatment and distribution systems to document strengths and weaknesses of using RE power sources. Results of this effort will advance dynamic water treatment understanding under variable conditions and integration of RE sources to power these systems. This will lead to further decarbonization of municipal and private treatment facilities while supporting a paradigm shift in water treatment process operation and system design to achieve net-zero goals and move toward energy-sensitive resilient water treatment systems.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2023
EventASCE Inspire 2023 - Arlington, Virginia
Duration: 16 Nov 202318 Nov 2023


ConferenceASCE Inspire 2023
CityArlington, Virginia

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5700-88637


  • modularity
  • scaling
  • water treatment


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