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Water Desalination Powered by Renewable Energy

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Energy Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 March 2021) | Viewed by 11964

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources Development and Agricultural Engineering, School of Environment and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos Street, 11855 Athens, Greece
Interests: renewable energy and environmental technologies’ development and implementation, including applications in agriculture and food processing; water processing powered by renewable energy (solar photovoltaic and wind) and other energy sources; development and application of microgrids; development of systems for power supply based on the organic Rankine cycle (ORC) and on biofuels’ deployment for power production
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources Development and Agricultural Engineering, School of Environment and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos Street, 11855 Athens, Greece
Interests: microgrids; electric vehicles; renewable energy; decentralized energy management system; multi-agent systems; smart grids; computational intelligence approaches; energy management and control of energy systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water is essential for our existence and for public health, being used for drinking, agriculture, food processing, and domestic and recreational purposes. Nowadays, nearly 40% of the world’s population suffers from a shortage of water, and this is expected to increase by 2025, as half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas. Climate change is expected to cause water shortages in many countries, with significant reductions in groundwater availability and negative impacts on the environment. At the same time, 1.1 billion people lack access to electricity in many areas in the world. A reliable supply of clean water and sustainable energy can boost the economic growth and contribute greatly to poverty reduction, particularly in remote and rural communities. In many circumstances, conventional water resources cannot satisfy fresh-water demands, and this has led to the development and application of sea and brackish water desalination. On the basis of on the fact that seawater represents around 97% of the earth's water, desalting seawater to produce fresh water has emerged as an attractive solution to water scarcity. Seawater desalination can provide a climate-independent source of drinking water, but the process has a high energy demand and can have environmental impacts. Powering desalination systems with renewable energy can provide an attractive, sustainable, and viable solution to produce fresh water. This is expected to become also an economically attractive pathway, compared to fossil fuel-powered desalination systems, as the costs of renewable energy technologies continues to decline. In addition, desalination powered by renewable energy will lead to environmental benefits such as the decrease of the reliance on fossil fuels and the reduction of the associated greenhouse gases emissions. This Special Issue on “Water Desalination Powered by Renewable Energy” focuses on the latest methods, processes, practices, and technologies in the field of desalination powered by renewable energy, as well as on the sustainability and the environmental benefits of utilizing renewable energy as a valuable resource for desalination processes. For this Special Issue, we warmly invite the submission of original comprehensive reviews, case studies, and research articles focusing on the use of renewable energy in water desalination. 

Prof. Dr. George Papadakis
Dr. Christos-Spyridon Karavas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Water Desalination 
  • Renewable energy 
  • Energy efficiency 
  • Reverese osmosis, membrane distillation, electrodialysis 
  • Renewable energy–environment nexus 
  • Water–energy nexus 
  • Water cost and price 
  • Energy recovery schemes, optimization and process controls 
  • Energy storage and optimization 
  • Water optimization schemes for island, remote and coastal communities

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 1461 KiB  
Article
Is Small Scale Desalination Coupled with Renewable Energy a Cost-Effective Solution?
by George Kyriakarakos and George Papadakis
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 5419; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11125419 - 10 Jun 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3915
Abstract
Water and energy are two of the most important inputs for a community to thrive. While water is dominant on earth, only 2.5% of the water is fresh water and over 98% of that water is either ground water or locked up in [...] Read more.
Water and energy are two of the most important inputs for a community to thrive. While water is dominant on earth, only 2.5% of the water is fresh water and over 98% of that water is either ground water or locked up in glaciers and ice caps. Therefore, only about 1.2% of all the freshwater is surface water which is able to meet human needs. About 2 billion people currently do not have sufficient access to fresh water. One of the solutions deployed in the last decades for island and coastal areas has been desalination. Desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater is commercially available and still a fast-advancing technology. The decreasing cost of renewable energy coupled with strategies based on renewables for powering populations without access to electricity and policies for complete decarbonization of the economy such as the European Green Deal make the combination of renewables and desalination a really interesting approach. This paper investigates combinations of small-scale RO desalination systems which are able to produce up to a few thousand m3 of desalinated water per day coupled with photovoltaic (PV) and wind energy systems, both in grid-connected, as well as in autonomous scenarios. The results show that RO desalination coupled with renewables can address cost-effectively the current issues in terms of water scarcity, while minimizing the environmental footprint of the process. In this paper, it has been showcased that desalination powered by renewables can be deployed in practically any location on earth having access to sea or a brackish water source. The results show that even for grid-connected systems it is more cost-effective and profitable to include a renewable energy system to power the plant, apart from the corresponding environmental benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Desalination Powered by Renewable Energy)
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29 pages, 6825 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy Powered Membrane Technology: Electrical Energy Storage Options for a Photovoltaic-Powered Brackish Water Desalination System
by Sheying Li, Ana P. S. G. de Carvalho, Andrea I. Schäfer and Bryce S. Richards
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(2), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11020856 - 18 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3202
Abstract
The potential for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and supercapacitors (SCs) to overcome long-term (one day) and short-term (a few minutes) solar irradiance fluctuations with high-temporal-resolution (one s) on a photovoltaic-powered reverse osmosis membrane (PV-membrane) system was investigated. Experiments were conducted using synthetic brackish water [...] Read more.
The potential for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries and supercapacitors (SCs) to overcome long-term (one day) and short-term (a few minutes) solar irradiance fluctuations with high-temporal-resolution (one s) on a photovoltaic-powered reverse osmosis membrane (PV-membrane) system was investigated. Experiments were conducted using synthetic brackish water (5-g/L sodium chloride) with varied battery capacities (100, 70, 50, 40, 30 and 20 Ah) to evaluate the effect of decreasing the energy storage capacities. A comparison was made between SCs and batteries to determine system performance on a “partly cloudyday”. With fully charged batteries, clean drinking water was produced at an average specific energy consumption (SEC) of 4 kWh/m3. The daily water production improved from 663 L to 767 L (16% increase) and average electrical conductivity decreased from 310 µS/cm to 274 μS/cm (12% improvement), compared to the battery-less system. Enhanced water production occurred when the initial battery capacity was >50 Ah. On a “sunny” and “very cloudy” day with fully charged batteries, water production increased by 15% and 80%, while water quality improved by 18% and 21%, respectively. The SCs enabled a 9% increase in water production and 13% improvement in the average SEC on the “partly cloudy day” when compared to the reference system performance (without SCs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Desalination Powered by Renewable Energy)
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9 pages, 3265 KiB  
Article
Enhancing the Desalination Performance of Capacitive Deionization Using a Layered Double Hydroxide Coated Activated Carbon Electrode
by Jaehan Lee, Seoni Kim, Nayeong Kim, Choonsoo Kim and Jeyong Yoon
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10010403 - 5 Jan 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3956
Abstract
Capacitive deionization (CDI) is a promising desalination technology because of its simple, high energy efficient, and eco-friendly process. Among several factors that can affect the desalination capacitance of CDI, wettability of the electrode is considered one of the important parameters. However, various carbon [...] Read more.
Capacitive deionization (CDI) is a promising desalination technology because of its simple, high energy efficient, and eco-friendly process. Among several factors that can affect the desalination capacitance of CDI, wettability of the electrode is considered one of the important parameters. However, various carbon materials commonly have a hydrophobic behavior that disturbs the ion transfer between the bulk solution and the surface of the electrode. In this study, we fabricated a layered double hydroxide (LDH) coated activated carbon electrode using an in-situ growth method to enhance the wettability of the surface of the carbon electrode. The well-oriented and porous LDH layer resulted in a better wettability of the activated carbon electrode, attributing to an enhanced capacitance compared with that of the uncoated activated carbon electrode. Furthermore, from the desalination tests of the CDI system, the LDH coated carbon electrode showed a higher salt adsorption capacity (13.9 mg/g) than the uncoated carbon electrode (11.7 mg/g). Thus, this enhanced desalination performance suggests that the improvement in the wettability of the carbon electrode by the LDH coating provides facile ion transfer between the electrode and electrolyte. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Desalination Powered by Renewable Energy)
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