Solar Energy and Desalination Plants

Water is an extremely important commodity for the improvement of arid (desert) and semi-arid environments. As for the water production technology, desalination plants widely use fossil fuels. Hence, for the improvement of these regions it is necessary to shift from fossil fuel usage to some environmentally friendly energy source, such as solar energy as it is available abundantly in such environments. It is necessary to develop a sustainable water production system using the renewable energy that is presented by solar energy instead of fossil fuels in these regions. Specifically, the Arabian Gulf countries have the latest water production technology and the use of the solar energy alternative for this purpose must be investigated in spite of fossil fuel availability. The relationships of the natural energy sources and the sea water desalination technology are shown in Fig. 7.13.

Fig. 7.13 Renewable energy and sea water desalination

At present, the energy sources used for water production are mainly heat and pressure. The latter is produced from electricity and heat or pressure can be made from various renewable energy sources as shown in Fig. 7.13. Among them solar energy is the most universal and exists in abundance especially in desert environ­ments. Currently, there is a problem in the solar energy usage cost performance. However, the expenses after equipment construction are almost zero and the water production cost becomes low.

Updated: July 1, 2015 — 8:28 am