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Prospects in Solar Water Desalination: Towards Affordable H2O without CO2
V. Fthenakis, A.A. Atia, R. Bkayrat, K.C. Ng, T. Alghasham, A. Khalid, D. Nagpal, S. Sgouridis
Hybrid System, Desalination, Reverse Osmosis, MED-AD, SWRO
PV Economics, Markets and Policies
Subtopic: PV Economics and Markets
Event: 32nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 7DV.4.16
3020 - 3026
ISBN: 3-936338-41-8
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20162016-7DV.4.16
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper, poster


This paper presents performance and cost analysis of small- and medium-scale seawater reverse osmosis (RO) desalination plants powered in full or in part by photovoltaic power systems in the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) region. Simulations of PV-RO desalination were conducted using HOMER Pro 3.6.1 and an Excel-based, hourly RO model. We describe a) small and medium size stand-alone systems operating 8, 10, 12 or 24 hours/day, which are powered by PV only, or PV and battery storage and diesel generators, and, b) combinations of PV and solar thermal and co-location of PV and conventional power plants. The stand-alone systems operating less than 24 hours included water storage. Our simulations show water production costs in the range of $1.2-$2.65 per m3 of product water for small (i.e., 5m3/day) stand-alone PV-RO systems with PV LCOE values ranging from 12–18 ¢/kWh; water production costs are in the range of $0.9-$2.0/m3 for medium size (e.g., 6500 m3/day) systems with PV LCOE down to 6-8.8 US¢/kWh. Co-locating a 50 MW PV system with an existing power plant in Jordan resulted in LCOE being reduced from 8.8 ¢/kWh to 7.1 ¢/kWh. The potential for improved water production yield and cost savings in hybrid PV-solar thermal is also highlighted.