Concentrating solar power for seawater desalination in the Middle East and North Africa

German Aerospace Center, Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, D-70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Desalination 01/2008; DOI: 10.1016/j.desal.2007.01.030

ABSTRACT The paper presents a long-term scenario for the demand of freshwater in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and shows how it may be covered by a better use of the existing renewable water sources and by sea water desalination powered with solar energy. Growth of population and economy, increasing urbanization and industrialization, and the rather limited natural resources of potable water in MENA are leading to serious deficits of freshwater in many parts of MENA. Modern infrastructure for water distribution, enhanced efficiency of use and better water management are to be established as soon as possible. However, even the change to best practice would leave considerable deficits, which are poorly covered by over-exploiting groundwater resources. Increased use of desalted seawater is therefore unavoidable in order to maintain a reasonable level of water supply. The desalination of seawater based on fossil fuels is neither sustainable nor economically feasible in a long-term perspective, as fuels are increasingly becoming expensive and scarce. Concentrating solar power (CSP) offers a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels for large scale seawater desalination. CSP can help to solve the problem, but market introduction must start immediately in order to achieve the necessary freshwater production rates in time.

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    Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems. 06/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The clean and pure drinking water is important in today's life but current water sources are usually brackish with bacteria that cannot be used for drinking. About 78% of water available in the sea is salty, 21% of water is brackish, and only 1% of water is fresh. Distillation is one of the feasible processes applied to water purification, and it requires the energy inputs, such as solar radiation. Water is evaporated in this distillation process and water vapor can be separated and condensed to pure water. Now, with the change from conventional fuels to renewable and environment friendly fuels sources, the modern technology allows to use the abundant energy from the sun. It is better to use solar energy to process the water desalination since it is more economical than the use of conventional energies. The main focus of this paper is applying computer-aided modeling and simulation to design a less complex solar water distillation system. The prototype of this solar still system is also built to verify its feasibility, functionality, and reliability. The computational simulation and prototype testing show the reliability and proper functionality of this solar water distillation system.
    Journal of Modeling and Simulation in Engineering. 01/2011; 2:1-5..
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    ABSTRACT: Different alternatives for the effective integration of desalination technologies in the cooling of concentrating solar power (CSP) plants in the Mediterranean area are discussed and evaluated. Two cases are considered where a low temperature multi-effect distillation (LT-MED) plant is integrated into a CSP plant replacing the condenser of the power cycle. In one case, a LT-MED plant is fed by steam at the outlet of the turbine expanded to 70 °C. In the other case a LT-MED is fed by the steam obtained from a thermal vapour compressor (TVC) which uses the exhaust steam of the CSP plant (at 37 °C, 0.063 bar) together with some from the high pressure turbine extraction (17 bar). The two cases are compared with that of a reverse osmosis (RO) unit powered by the electricity produced by the CSP plant. In this case, two different wet cooling technologies, once-through and evaporative water cooling, and a dry air cooling are considered for the CSP plant. Thermodynamic simulations are presented for all cases, together with an economic analysis.
    Applied Thermal Engineering 02/2013; 50(2):1514–1521. · 2.13 Impact Factor


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