Effectiveness of desalination powered by a tracking solar array to treat saline bore water

Peterson, Eric Laurentius and Gray, Stephen R. (2012) Effectiveness of desalination powered by a tracking solar array to treat saline bore water. Desalination, 293 94-103. doi:10.1016/j.desal.2012.02.029

Author Peterson, Eric Laurentius
Gray, Stephen R.
Title Effectiveness of desalination powered by a tracking solar array to treat saline bore water
Journal name Desalination   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0011-9164
Publication date 2012-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.desal.2012.02.029
Volume 293
Start page 94
End page 103
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
A solar powered desalination unit was tested between October 2008 and February 2010 in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt. Coot-tha, Queensland, Australia to provide garden irrigation during drought conditions. Water was extracted from a saline bore, and the salt was removed with a 30 kL/d brackish bore water desalination unit. The driving force was provided by a bore pump driven by a 1.44 kW tracking solar array. This study demonstrated that solar powered desalination of saline bore water delivered fresh water to the rated flow rate of the RO membrane rack during periods of sunshine. During periods of overcast or rainy weather, the performance of desalination decreased. Consumption of permeate for flushing further reduced overall recovery rate during rainy weather. Solar desalination performance was inversely related to the El Niño Southern Oscillation Index (polynomial fitting R² > 0.4). Analysis of performance in relation to satellite-derived daily horizontal solar radiation shows stronger correlation with permeate production.

Wet seasons tended to hinder performance. Performance in terms of specific energy consumption is related to salinity. Other factors that contributed to the present finding of low specific energy consumption included tracking solar arrays, avoidance of batteries, and utilization of bore pump pressure to drive RO.
Keyword Desalination
Pressure-driven membranes
Renewable energy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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