Design of Desalination System for Brackish Water by RO-Membranes Powered by Solar Photovoltaic Cells

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Noor Al-Huda
Marwan Mahmoud
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Water is the source of human life, where it contributes in different areas such as domestic, industry, and agriculture. The main aim of this study is to design of desalination system powered by solar energy, also to investigate the water sources and quality in Palestine. Water in Palestine is very limited and suffers from high salinity, which reaches to 5000 mg/L in some places. The sources of water in Palestine are from rain fall which represents 700 mm/year in the central high lands, the running springs which reach about 300 springs produce annually 52.72 million cubic meters, and the ground water which represents about 30% of the total rain fall. As high portion of water in Palestine is brackish water, there is a need to treat this water. The selected site is Zbaidat village which has a brackish water well of salinity of 2636ppm. The desalination process is used to convert brackish water in to fresh water. In this project Reverse Osmosis membrane powered by photovoltaic system (PV) was designed  for that purpose. The system operates 10 hour daily, and produces 10 m3/d fresh water of salinity 123 ppm. Rapid gravity filter and cartridge filter are used in pretreatment system. Two pumps are required to pressurize saline water through the filters, of total energy needed daily 24420 Wh/d.   Under Palestinian solar radiation conditions a PV peak power Wp of 530 is necessary for desalination of 1 m3/d fresh water.  Block batteries (Lead acid) cells are used as energy storage system rated at 2V/831Ah. One of the most important factors for selecting the most appropriate power source of a desalination system is the economics of different possible power sources. Based on the calculations, the estimated cost of potable water produced by RO-PV powered system is 2 $/m3. This cost is less than the cost of water usually transported by Tractor-tanks. It is also less than the cost of extending the electric side for supplying the desalination system.