ArticlePDF Available

An Offshore Wind-Power-Based Water Desalination Complex as a Response to an Emergency in Water Supply to Northern Crimea


Abstract and Figures

This paper is concerned with the problem of water shortage in northern Crimea. It shows that the Crimean Peninsula lacks access to fresh water from natural sources. For decades, water supply was provided mostly from the Dnieper River via the North Crimean Canal. An emergency situation arose in water supply in Crimea after the canal was shut down. It has been shown that seawater desalination from renewables is the only reliable way to tackle the problem. The work reviews perspective desalination methods, suggests a new schematic of a desalination complex based on Wind Energy Marine Units, and determines key parameters of the complex.
Content may be subject to copyright.
ISSN 0003-701X, Applied Solar Energy, 2019, Vol. 55, No. 4, pp. 260–264. © Allerton Press, Inc., 2019.
Russian Text © The Author(s), 2019, published in Geliotekhnika, 2019, No. 4, pp. 298–303.
An Offshore Wind-Power-Based Water Desalination Complex
as a Response to an Emergency in Water Supply to Northern Crimea
V. V. Ch eb oxarova, *, B. A. Yakimovicha, L. M. Abd Alic, and F. M. Al-Rufeeb
aSevastopol State University, Sevastopol, 299015 Russia
bWas it Unive rsit y, Wasit, 52000 Ir aq
cUniversity of Kufa, Najaf, 54001 Iraq
Received March 24, 2019; revised May 16, 2019; accepted June 13, 2019
Abstract—This paper is concerned with the problem of water shortage in northern Crimea. It shows that the
Crimean Peninsula lacks access to fresh water from natural sources. For decades, water supply was provided
mostly from the Dnieper River via the North Crimean Canal. An emergency situation arose in water supply
in Crimea after the canal was shut down. It has been shown that seawater desalination from renewables is the
only reliable way to tackle the problem. The work reviews perspective desalination methods, suggests a new
schematic of a desalination complex based on Wind Energy Marine Units, and determines key parameters of
the complex.
Keywords: wind power plant, water supply, fresh water, sea water, reverse osmosis
DOI: 10.3103/S0003701X19040030
In every country, quality of life and economic
growth strongly depend on the availability of two main
natural resources, which are water and energy [1–4].
Statement of the Problem of Water Supply in Crimea
In contrast with other coastal regions of Russia, the
Crimean Peninsula features low moisture. The annual
precipitation averages 300–360 mm in most areas. At
the same time, abundant sunshine and high insolation
levels lead to increased soil water evaporation. As a
result, the main crops of the Crimean steppe experi-
ence precipitation shortfall of 300–500 mm annually,
while the percipitation/evaporation ratio ranges from
0.3 to 0.6.
In the peninsula, 150 rivers form the drainage sys-
tem, but all of them are minor, with 92% of these rivers
being less than 10 km in length. Freshets (80–95% of
discharge) occur in the winter–spring period in
Crimea. In the summer, many rivers dry up, including
in part the streambed of the longest one, the Salgir
River. The long-term average annual runoff amounts
to about 580 mln m3 annually. Up to 140 mln m3 are
used. Prior to 2014, the river runoff provided for
approximately 12–15% of the total annual freshwater
consumed in the peninsula.
Likewise, Crimea has relatively scarce groundwa-
ter. The groundwater diversion was 68.54 mln m3
(4.41% of the total consumption) in 2013. There are
more than 300 lakes and limans (almost all of which
are saline) in Crimea, as well as 23 water reservoirs,
with a total normal volume of about 400 mln m3. Of
the latter, eight reservoirs (total capacity 145 mln m3),
including the Mezhgornoe water reservoir located in
close proximity to Simferopol, the biggest Crimean
city, were filled through the North Crimean Canal
(NCC) before 2014.
Thus, the Crimean Peninsula is a water-stressed
region of Russia, reliable water provision to which is
not attainable by means of its own natural sources.
The NCC has been a primary source for freshwater
in Crimea (80–87% of withdrawal) in recent decades.
During the period of seasonal operation (spring–fall),
the NCC delivered 320 m3/s to Crimea with an average
annual discharge of up to 50 m3/s. Losses in transpor-
tation were estimated to range from 20 to 45%, accord-
ing to various sources.
Eighty percent of water from the NCC was allo-
cated to meet the needs of agriculture, including 60%
allocated to rice production. The length of the canals
and pipelines of the irrigation system amounted to
11000 km with an irrigated land area of 300 000–
400000 ha in particular years in Crimea.
After the NCC water bed was blocked by Ukraine
in April 2014, the majority of the northern and eastern
regions of Crimea were facing a threat of a regional
level emergency, which is still there. Inhabited areas
experience a water supply deficit 0.26 km3/year. Diffi-
culties in drinking water supply primarily occurred in
cities of the Crimean east and southeast (Kerch, Feo-
dosia, and Sudak). In 2015, the area of irrigated lands
was reduced to 13 400 ha irrigated from local sources. A
switch to drip irrigation having drawbacks occurred. The
amount of water conveyed for irrigation dropped from
700 mln m3in 2013 to 17.7 mln m3in 2015 (i.e., by a fac-
tor of 40).
The NCC water bed remains underfilled through-
out most of its length. In 2014, there was a project car-
ried out to fill off-channel reservoirs of eastern Crimea
via NCC sections by water diversion from small water
reservoirs in the foothills along soil, streambed of the
Biyuk–Karasu River. This, however, is accompanied
by considerable losses. Currently, eastern sections of
the NCC are filled solely from tributaries of the
Biyuk–Karasu drainage basin and three groups of
artesian wells (with a projected volume of 40 mln m3
annually) due to a lack of usable storage in the water
reservoirs. This ensures a supply of drinking water to
the population, but does not eliminate the main con-
straints on water supply to industrial and agricultural
Below, we consider practicable solutions to the
provision of water in Crimea and their shortcomings.
Findings of the analysis are summarized in Table 1 and
demonstrate that the most promising appears to be to
set up a large-scale desalination complex based on
renewable energy sources (RESs) and wind power, in
particular, on the Crimean Peninsula itself.
RES-Based Water Desalination Background
Efforts to desalinate brackish and seawater gave rise
to a rather large number of various technologies,
which fit into either of two groups: evaporation and
membrane. They have been described in detail in the
technical literature. This notwithstanding, only three
desalination methods are applied in existing medium-
to large-size plants (more than 1000 m3 per day), that
is, multistage flash (MSF), multieffect distillation
(MED), and reverse osmosis (RO). The MSF and
MED methods fall under the evaporation approach
and are essentially the same. The RO is a membrane
technology. Characteristics of the aforementioned
methods are presented in Table 2.
The largest desalination plants, which have a
capacity of more than 1.5 mln m3/day, operate on the
basis of MSF and MED technologies using heat from
combustion of inexpensive energy sources in the Per-
sian Gulf states [6]. At the same time, Table 2 shows
that the RO method is better for meeting the need to
minimize freshwater cost. It is this method the appli-
cation of which prevails in the Mediterranean, which
is similar in climate to Crimea [6]. The largest desali-
nation plant, which is 330000 m3/day in capacity,
relying on this method, is located in Israel.
RESs have not yet gained a widespread commercial
use due to high power cost and low level of their stabil-
ity. However, multiple research works are under way.
An overview of desalination technologies that to the
Table 1. Analysis of solutions to water supply in Crimea
Solution Shortfalls
Resume Dnieper water supply via the NCC water
Unlikely on political grounds. Will not remove the issue of water self-
reliance of Crimea from the agenda in any event
Intensify use of groundwater aquifers Limitations include groundwater storage and amount of precipitation
in the peninsula. Fraught with increase in salinity. Does nothing to
resolve the problem fundamentally
Transfer Kuban River waters over the Kerch
Contingent on a considerable reduction of water supply to consumers
in the North Caucuses
Transfer Don River water through the Azov Sea
(on the seabed)
Very costly. Fraught with risk for Azov Sea ecology
Large-scale desalination in the northern districts
of Crimea
Desalination is energy intensive (min 3 kW h/m3). Crimea is a power-
deficient region but features significant renewable resources
best advantage can be coupled with renewable power is
presented in [7]. Work [8] describes the seawater
desalination plant based on the RO technology with
two wind turbines, 230 kW in capacity each, in the
Canary Islands.
Wind power is among the renewable energy sources
accessible in Crimea. According to [9], cost of wind
turbine is a dominating component to the price of
water desalted using the wind power. Thus, solving a
problem of considerable cost reduction of wind tur-
bines appears to be of primary importance for the
large-scale water desalination in Crimea.
Wind-Powered Marine Units as Energy Sources
for Large-Scale Desalination
An opportunity to reduce cost of desalted water is
offered by a new concept of wind turbines with a large-
size floating rotor. a Wind Energy Marine Unit
(WEMU). It uses the effect of reducing the capital
costs per unit while scaling up the installations. A
WEMU turbine features large-size low-speed rotor, rest-
ing upon water surface, with vertical rotation axis. The
plant and its study are described in detail in, e.g., [10].
Work [11] proposes a scheme of WEMU turbine
utilization for seawater desalination using the MSF
technology. Figure 2 shows a schematic of the WEMU
design with a desalination installation based on the
RO method. Here, seawater is colored in blue and
freshwater is dark blue. Seawater supplied by an auxil-
iary feeding pump FP to the seawater transfer tank
(SWT) is then pumped by P to osmosis module with
membrane M with flow Q and pressure of 3–6 MPa.
Pump P is driven directly by wind turbine WT. After
having passed through the membrane (brown color),
freshwater with flow Q1 is supplied to freshwater tank
FWT. From there, the product is delivered ashore by
pump PP via submarine pipeline. High-head hydrau-
lic turbine HT (flow Q2) with electric generator G
recuperates power of pressurized seawater. Thus-gen-
Fig. 1. Wind-Turbine Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (WT-SWRO) system general layout [4].
Wind energy unit Desalination plant
RO unit
rator Energy
Table 2. Characteristics of desalination technologies [5]
Process Thermal energy,
kW h/m3
Electrical energy,
kW h/m3
Overall energy,
kW h/m3
Capital investments,
Full price of water,
MSF 7.5–12 2.5–4 10–16 1200—2500 0.8–1.5
MED 4–7 1.5–2 5.5–9 900—2000 0.7–1.2
RO 3–4 3–4 900—2500 0.5–1.2
erated electrical power is supplied to feed motors of
pumps FP and partially to a grid for other consumers.
The proposed scheme has wide opportunities for con-
trolling the conversion parameters, such as ratio Q1/Q2
and of energy accumulation, which will serve to opti-
mize the process of obtaining the minimum cost of the
water under conditions of an unsteady wind speed u.
Desalination plants can be installed in large quan-
tities on the shelf sea along the northern coast of
Crimea, and the desalted water will be pumped into
the currently dry NCC bed. According to the State
Water Supply Committee of the Republic of Crimea, the
NCC operation is estimated to yield profit provided the
flow of at least Q2 = 10 m3/s = 864000 m3/day, which is
equivalent to one-fifth of the NCC discharge under
the assumed year-round service. This will require an
average annual capacity of the desalination installa-
tions (based on RO technology) of Nreq = 110 MW.
The aggregate rated capacity of wind power installa-
tions is Nnom = 400 MW. The number of wind power
installations with a single unit capacity of Nun = 8 MW
is n = 50. Total offshore wind farm area on the shelf
S= 50 km2. The cost of the desalination complex is
estimated to reach 16–20 billion Russian rubles.
Thus, the introduction of wind-power-based
water-pumping complexes in Crimea offers an oppor-
tunity to partially solve the problem of water supply, in
places lacking a centralized power supply in particular.
Independence of operation and electrical energy gen-
erated at no charge additionally support opting for this
scheme of water supply.
This work was supported by an internal grant of Sevasto-
pol State University.
We are grateful to our colleagues at the Institute of
Nuclear Energy and Industry, Sevastopol State University,
for their continuous support.
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
1. Kartalidis, A., Kampragkou, E., Assimacopoulos, D.,
and Tzen, E., Responding to water challenges in
Greece through desalination: energy considerations,
Int. J. Water Resour. Develop., 2015, p. 14.
2. Kaldellis, J.K. and Kondili, E.M., The water shortage
problem in the Aegean archipelago islands: cost-effec-
tive desalination prospects, Desalination, 2007, no. 216,
pp. 123–138.
3. Viola, F., Sapiano, M., Schembri, M., et al., The state
of water resources in major mediterranean islands, Wa-
ter Resour., 2014, vol. 41, no. 6, pp. 639–648.
4. Wood, D. and Freere, P., Stand-alone wind energy sys-
tems A2, in Stand-Alone and Hybrid Wind Energy Sys-
tems, Kaldellis, J.K., Ed., Cambridge: Woodhead,
2010, pp. 165–19 0.
Fig. 2. Scheme of operation of the WEMU wind turbine with a desalination installation.
5. Ghaffour, N., Technical review and evaluation of the
economics of water desalination: current and future
challenges for better water supply sustainability, Desali-
nation, 2013, no. 309, pp. 197–207.
6. Lattemann, S. and Hopner, T., Environmental impact
and impact assessment of seawater desalination, Desali-
nation, 2008, no. 220, pp. 1–15.
7. Eltawil, M.A., A review of renewable energy technolo-
gies integrated with desalination systems, Renewable
Sustainable Energy Rev., 2009, no. 13, pp. 2245–2262.
8. Carta, J.A. et al., Operational analysis of an innovative
wind powered reverse osmosis system installed in the
Canary Islands, Solar Energy, 2003, no. 75, pp. 33–48.
9. Koklas, P.A. and Papathanassiou, S.A., Component
sizing for an autonomous wind-driven desalination
plant, Renewable Energy, 2006, no. 31, pp. 2122–2139.
10. Cheboxarov, Val.V. and Cheboxarov, Vic.V., The study
of large floating wind turbines, Vestn. DVO RAN, 2005,
no. 6, pp. 46–51.
11. Cheboxarov, Val.V. and Cheboxarov, Vic.V., Develop-
ment of high-capacity desalination plant driven by off-
shore wind turbine, in Proceedings of the ISES Solar
World Congress 2007, Beijing, China: Springer, 2007,
vol. 5, pp. 2565–2569.
Translated by E. Kuznetsova
... As storage device prices are anticipated to decline, it may also provide an integrated battery solution and make use of a solar tracking system to improve the system's overall efficiency. Today, grid-connected PV systems predominate, with off-grid or standalone systems making up a tiny portion of the market [16], [17]. Solar panels are the components that convert receiving light into electrical energy. ...
... Almost the entire country of Iraq could be used to construct large-scale solar power plants. Iraq has very hot summers and mild winters, with the peak temperatures in June, July, and August between 43 °C and 50 °C, and the lowest in January between 1 °C and 8 °C [16], [17]. Dry air masses from the Mediterranean impact the country from June to September. ...
Full-text available
span lang="EN-US">Iraqi people have been without energy for nearly two decades, even though their geographic position provides a high intensity of radiation appropriate for the construction of solar plants capable of producing significant quantities of electricity. Also, the annual sunny hours in Iraq are between 3,600 to 4,300 hours which makes it perfect to use the photovoltaics arrays to generate electricity with very high efficiency compared to many countries, especially in Europe. This paper shows the amount of electric energy generated by the meter square of crystalline silicon in the photovoltaic (PV) array that already installed in 18 states in Iraq for each month of the year. The results of the meter-square of PV array in three tracking positions are presented in this paper. This paper shows that the average electricity generated in North cities (Dohuk, Al-Sulaymaniyah, and Erbil) are less than the southern cities in the winter season (three positions) by about 40-50%. Iraq has a stable PV electrical generation during all the year in all regions except the North cities while the highest cities in electricity generation are (Najaf and Al-Anbar).</span
... The impact of government policies: Uncertainty in government policy can negatively impact the development of ocean energy, including delaying investments, increasing costs, and limiting innovation. Additionally, this has resulted in a low number of wind and wave energy devices [86][87][88][89][90][91][92][93][94][95][96][97][98]. ...
... As an example, offshore wind power projects are combined with aquaculture [92] and desalination plants [93]. Alternatively, wind and wave energy could be commercialized by generating electricity from offshore oil rigs [94]. Additionally, the integration of wind and wave energy technologies [95,96] maximize capacity by utilizing superior control technology [97]. ...
Full-text available
Wind and wave energy have gained significant attention in recent years as high-quality renewable energy sources. Commercial applications of these technologies are still in their infancy and do not offer significant benefits to the general public due to their low economic efficiency. The main objective of this paper is to contribute to the commercialization of wind and wave energy. The first step toward achieving this goal is to review equation models related to the economic benefits of wind and wave energy. A case study approach is then used to examine several successful offshore wind and wave energy conversion devices. As a result of this examination, we identify limitations and difficulties in commercializing and developing wind and wave energy. Finally, we propose various measures to address these challenges, including technological innovation, policy support, and market regulation. Research and decision-makers interested in the promotion of renewable energy sources will gain valuable insights from this study, which will ultimately lead to the adoption of sustainable energy practices for the benefit of society and the environment.
... The voltage was measured directly on the terminals of the rheostats by means of a UNI-T UT39B multimeter having an error of ± (0.5% +1 counting units) in the range from 200 mV to 1000 V. The intensity of solar radiation was 700 W/m 2 , in the shade -100 W/m 2 [13]. ...
... Низкая эффективность преобразования является основной проблемой фотоэлектрических модулей, которая находится в пределах 12-18%, хотя экспериментальных элементов было изготовлено более 30% [10]. Характеристики, которые имеют нелинейный характер [11] -это явление, которое заметно в частично затененной среде при более чем одной системе отслеживания точек максимальной мощности (MPP). ...
... Тем не менее, уровень мощности этого типа установки серьезно ограничен структурной прочностью существующих зданий и передачей вибрации. Поэтому предпочтительнее использовать встроенную ветроэнергетику [8]. Среди полей, готовых для подключения источников электроэнергии к нагрузке, есть наружное освещение [9]. ...
Full-text available
В настоящей статье была предложена, разработана и проанализирована гибридная система фотоэлектрических и ветроэнергетических мощностей, связанных с энергосистемой, с целью обеспечения системы освещения, активной мощности и компенсации реактивной мощности. Кроме того, были применены высокоточные и быстро реагирующие методы для максимального отслеживания мощности и управления в ветряных турбинах. Результаты моделирования наводят на мысль о подходящем отклике системы управления, улучшении качества электроэнергии за счет обеспечения нагрузки реактивной мощностью. Соответствующая скорость и точность наложенных изменений и отсутствие трансформаторов являются среди других достоинств предлагаемой системы.
Full-text available
Direct solar energy conversion systems based on semiconductor photovoltaic cells have been employed for decades for aerospace technology and ground-based consumers. The article presents the developed information and control system for combined electric energy generating installation by solar and wind energy conversion. A combined system, which employs two or more stable energy sources, is known as a hybrid renewable energy system. It will facilitate uninterruptible energy generation and allow employing one source in the absence of the other, which is its irrefutable advantage. The study proposes the hybrid energy conversion positioning, which includes photovoltaic panels, wind power generator and batteries. The presented work performed control system optimization of the proposed hybrid wind-solar system, which enhanced significantly efficiency of its application and performance reliability. The model of photovoltaic and wind output power, as well as the model of the battery charging and discharging were obtained by studying the output characteristics of the generating power station. Parameters such as the average annual net profit as a target function and region and area characteristics, planned scale, complementary properties, resources utilization factor and stability of the output as limitations were used while development. A model for the hybrid system of photovoltaic conversion, wind generation and energy storage was constructed employing the proposed method. The results of the experiment demonstrate the proposed approach validity and robustness. The emissions trading revenues inclusion makes the model more accurate. The ideal result is more useful as well. As the article shows, the solar photovoltaic panels distribution affects the overall power generation of the hybrid system. It employs a solar panel connected with a hybrid controller and a wind turbine. The results revealed that continuous power generation was possible when the solar panel was connected with the wind turbine, which improved its power output.
"В мире в благоприятных с точки зрения обилия «зелёной энергии» местах успешно функционируют целые плантации солнечных и ветровых электростанций. В то же время, как показывает опыт длительной эксплуатации нескольких солнечно-ветровых электростанций (СВЭС) расположенных в городах, автоматика, управляющая их работой, не обеспечивает их долговременной стабильной работы в автоматическом режиме, что приводит к выходу из строя дорогостоящего оборудования. Поэтому проблема совершенствования алгоритмов, заложенных в контроллеры управления СВЭС, работающих совместно с источниками централизованного электроснабжения, до сих пор является актуальной. Для поиска путей совершенствования алгоритмов управления работой таких СВЭС, очевидно, необходим мониторинг и анализ ключевых параметров их работы в течение длительного периода. Цель настоящей работы – определение ключевых параметров, подлежащих мониторингу, и выбор принципов построения измерительных цепей. Для измерения токов в СВЭС Торайгыров университета (ТоУ) нужны датчики на токи в сотни Ампер, оказывающие минимальное влияние на силовые цепи. В статье предложена структурная схема построения беспроводного цифрового датчика, проведён обзор серийно выпускаемых первичных датчиков постоянного тока, кратко описаны их достоинства и недостатки, обоснована необходимость оцифровки их выходных сигналов, и выбраны конструкции, наиболее пригодные для практического использования на СВЭС ТоУ. Ключевые слова: солнечно-ветровая электростанция, мониторинг параметров, АЦП, микроконтроллер, интерфейсы, датчики постоянного тока "
Full-text available
The findings of a study of a combined wind-photovoltaic installation for use in the Najaf governorate’s energy sector are presented in this article. The suggested hybrid system is for serving community customers in Iraq, as well as for the country's energy sector. Iraqi consumers are constantly short of electricity, and the proposed approach of combining solar and solar installations to generate energy will assist to alleviate this problem. In the presented studies, the authors show a total increase in the efficiency of the mini-energy complex due to the combined generation of electric energy by converting the wind flow and solar radiation. This work is devoted to the analysis and modeling of a small autonomous hybrid wind-photo-energy system. The paper presents a simulation of the operation of a wind power installation. During the study, parameters such as the angle of inclination, rotor diameter, wind speed, etc. are taken into account. The photovoltaic installation is simulated under realistic conditions, such as silicon cell temperature, sun insolation, and so on. The MATLAB computer program was used to solve mathematical models of small horizontal axes of wind turbines and solar systems. An experiment was conducted with low-power installations. The findings reveal that when hybrid wind-solar systems are used to power Iraq's energy complex, the total output of the hybrid installation increases dramatically. Furthermore, the output of electric energy from wind and solar installations varies throughout the year. During summer months, mainly photovoltaic batteries operate, while in winter months, wind turbines make the main contribution to the generation. As a result, the joint work of wind and solar installations to generate electrical energy helps to establish a more uniform generation throughout the year.
Full-text available
This paper presents a development of the desalination plant based on the concept of the Wind Energy Marine Unit (WEMU) which is the high-capacity offshore wind turbine with the floating rotor. The great potential and the necessity in seawater desalination for many coastal areas by offshore wind turbines are shown. The design of the desalination plant is described. The plant has a high pressure pump as the first energy converter. Flash evaporation by spraying of the superheated water into the low pressure chamber with subsequent condensation is the core process. Heat exchangers are used for energy recovery. Public meaning, social and economic prerequisites for water desalination by WEMU plants are specified. CFD-methods with a discrete phase model are proposed to simulate the heat and mass transfer in the evaporator. Relations are presented for estimation of the average desalination ratio. It can be about 50 percent.
: This chapter describes small wind turbines and their use in stand-alone power systems with conventional battery storage. Turbine components, such as the generators, blades and towers are reviewed to highlight their influence on turbine performance and safety in standalone operation. A major issue in designing these systems is the proper characterisation of the wind resource, which is complicated by the need to consider the time dependence of the electrical loads to accurately determine the required battery size. Small turbines, less than about 50 kW in rated power, are used for a range of stand-alone applications from small systems for village electrification in developing countries, to larger systems for remote power in western countries. The type and power requirement of the load can have a significant impact on the design of the system and the choice of inverter.
Desalination technology, and reverse osmosis in particular, is used by several island authorities in Greece to address water scarcity. However, this is a highly energy-intensive technique, requiring the consumption of significant quantities of fossil fuels. The case of Syros Island is presented, to demonstrate the strong water–energy link in the operation of desalination plants. The article also discusses the use of renewable energy sources as a means for reducing the energy intensity of desalination.
This work analyses the state of water resources in six Mediterranean islands: Corsica, Crete, Cyprus, Mallorca, Malta and Sicily. The analysis is focused on the prevailing social, economic and hydroclimatological characteristics of these islands in order to identify the main common features affecting water availability, demand and use. A detailed analysis of the state of water resources in all the considered islands has been carried out. A background of current conditions relating to freshwater availability, quality and use has been established. Different strategies to face water scarcity and enhance water quality in theislands have been assessed in a context of climate change which is a common threat. The identification of similar problems for all the islands highlights the importance of strengthening inter-islands co-operation in the field of sustainable water resources management.
Desalination capacity has rapidly increased in the last decade because of the increase in water demand and a significant reduction in desalination cost as a result of significant technological advances, especially in the reverse osmosis process. The cost of desalinated seawater has fallen below US$0.50/m3 for a large scale seawater reverse osmosis plant at a specific location and conditions while in other locations the cost is 50% higher (US$1.00/m3) for a similar facility. In addition to capital and operating costs, other parameters such as local incentives or subsidies may also contribute to the large difference in desalted water cost between regions and facilities. Plant suppliers and consultants have their own cost calculation methodologies, but they are confidential and provide water costs with different accuracies. The few existing costing methodologies and software packages such as WTCost© and DEEP provide an estimated cost with different accuracies and their applications are limited to specific conditions. Most of the available cost estimation tools are of the black box type, which provide few details concerning the parameters and methodologies applied for local conditions. Many desalination plants built recently have greater desalinated water delivery costs caused by special circumstances, such as plant remediation or upgrades, local variation in energy costs, and site-specific issues in raw materials costs (e.g., tariffs and transportation). Therefore, the availability of a more transparent and unique methodology for estimating the cost will help in selecting an appropriate desalination technology suitable for specific locations with consideration of all the parameters influencing the cost. A techno-economic evaluation and review of the costing aspects and the main parameters influencing the total water cost produced by different desalination technologies are herein presented in detail. Some recent developments, such as the increase of unit capacity, improvements in process design and materials, and the use of hybrid systems have contributed to cost reduction as well as reduction in energy consumption. The development of new and emerging low-energy desalination technologies, such as adsorption desalination, will have an impact on cost variation estimation in the future.
This paper presents an operational analysis of the prototype of an innovative fully autonomous wind powered desalination system. The system consists of a wind farm, made up of two wind turbines and a flywheel, which operates in isolation from the conventional power grids and which supplies the energy needs of a group of eight reverse osmosis (RO) modules throughout the complete desalination process (from the pumping of sea water to the storage of the product water), as well as the energy requirements of the control subsystems. The analysis of the electrical and hydraulic results obtained from this prototype, installed on the island of Gran Canaria in the Canarian Archipelago, shows the technical feasibility of the system design and the automatic operational strategy programmed for it. Amongst other tasks, the automatic operational strategy controls the number of RO plants that have to be connected or disconnected at any given moment in order to match the variable wind energy supply. The results obtained thus far have not revealed any significant variation in the level of quality or average volume of the product water, nor any physical deterioration to the main components of the system as a result of the start-ups and shut-downs required as a result of the variations in the wind energy supply or oscillations of the electrical parameters of voltage and frequency. In conclusion, the system under analysis can be applied to sea water desalination, both on a small and large scale, in coastal regions with a scarcity of water for domestic and/or agricultural use but with wind energy resources.
Increased water demand due to economic growth, irrigation needs, declining precipitation levels and over-abstraction of groundwater are all factors that create fresh water shortage problems in the Aegean Archipelago islands. In order to face pressing needs, water is transported by ships from the mainland or other neighbouring islands at a high cost. The objective of the present work is to analyse the current status of water shortage problem in the Hellenic islands and to provide reliable data concerning the water quantities being imported in the areas of Cyclades and Dodecanese. Furthermore, information concerning the cost of water transport in these areas is given. In parallel, the promising solution of desalination plants powered by renewable energy sources is proposed as a feasible, sustainable and cost-effective method for the water shortage problem of the Hellenic Aegean islands.
Desalination of seawater accounts for a worldwide water production of 24.5 million m3/day. A “hot spot” of intense desalination activity has always been the Arabian Gulf, but other regional centers of activity emerge and become more prominent, such as the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, or the coastal waters of California, China and Australia. Despite the many benefits the technology has to offer, concerns rise over potential negative impacts on the environment. Key issues are the concentrate and chemical discharges to the marine environment, the emissions of air pollutants and the energy demand of the processes. To safeguard a sustainable use of desalination technology, the impacts of each major desalination project should be investigated and mitigated by means of a project- and location-specific environmental impact assessment (EIA) study, while the benefits and impacts of different water supply options should be balanced on the scale of regional management plans. In this context, our paper intends to present an overview on present seawater desalination capacities by region, a synopsis of the key environmental concerns of desalination, including ways of mitigating the impacts of desalination on the environment, and of avoiding some of the dangers of the environment to desalination.
Objective of this paper is to provide insight in the component selection criteria of an autonomous wind-driven desalination plant. For this purpose, a suitable logistic model of such a system is developed, which simulates its steady-state operation, taking into account the power and energy equilibrium in the system. The simulation of the system operation is performed employing two alternative control strategies and a variety of different configurations with respect to the size of its main components (wind turbine, desalination plant and batteries). For each case, the annual water production is calculated and an economic assessment is performed to estimate the expected water production cost, which is the ultimate measure of the feasibility of the stand-alone system. Other important factors, such as the desalination unit start/stop operations are also calculated. Based on the simulation results, conclusions are drawn regarding the optimal sizing of the system components and its recommended operating strategy.
Energy is an essential ingredient of socio-economic development and economic growth. Renewable energy provides a variable and environmental friendly option and national energy security at a time when decreasing global reserves of fossil fuels threatens the long-term sustainability of global economy. The integration of renewable resources in desalination and water purification is becoming increasingly attractive. This is justified by the fact that areas of fresh water shortages have plenty of solar energy and these technologies have low operating and maintenance costs. In this paper an attempt has been made to present a review, in brief, work of the highlights that have been achieved during the recent years worldwide and the state-of-the-art for most important efforts in the field of desalination by renewable energies, with emphasis on technologies and economics. The review also includes water sources, demand, availability of potable water and purification methods. The classification of distillation units has been done on the basis of literature survey till today. A comparative study between different renewable energy technologies powered desalination systems as well as economics have been done. The real problem in these technologies is the optimum economic design and evaluation of the combined plants in order to be economically viable for remote or arid regions. Wind energy technology is cheaper than the conventional ones, and used extensively around the world. The slow implementation of renewable energy projects especially in the developing countries are mostly due to the governments subsides of conventional fuels products and electricity. The economic analyses carried out so far have not been able to provide a strong basis for comparing economic viability of each desalination technology. The economic performances expressed in terms of cost of water production have been based on different system capacity, system energy source, system component, and water source. These differences make it difficult, if not impossible, to assess the economic performance of a particular technology and compare it with others. Reverse osmosis is becoming the technology of choice with continued advances being made to reduce the total energy consumption and lower the cost of water produced.