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Innovative Solar-Geothermal Desalination System

Desalination through Renewable Energy Technologies

Overview

In Saudi Arabia, 60% of drinking water comes from desalination. Conventional desalination systems are energy intensive, mostly rely on fossil fuels which are unsustainable, harmful to climate, prone to price changes in global market and also possess logistical supply problems in remote communities. Development of desalination technologies based on renewable energy resources could be viable solution to overcome these problems. The proposed system utilizes two renewable resources: solar energy and geothermal energy to come up with an optimum system of solar desalination.

Our Research

At SET Center we are producing a prototype where a geothermal cooling system is integrated with a solar still to improve the water still performance. Geothermal cooling is achieved by circulating underground water, which could reach 15-25 °C below ambient. Cold water from the ground flows into a heat exchanger where it condenses the vapor produced by the still. The sizes of the geothermal system and solar still are so designed that the water outlet temperature from the ground and its flow rate are capable of condensing the entire vapor produced by the still. The small electrical pump required to circulate water may be run through a separate Solar PV system in order to have a desalination system which is entirely based on renewable energy technologies

Technology Impact
  • Carbon free water desalination.
  • Can be employed on a residential or industrial scale
  • Specially suitable for arid zones and areas without electricity

Prototype:Solar-Geothermal Desalination System (Under construction)

Current Applications:Water Desalination

Future Applications:Green Houses & Buildings

Industrial scope:Water Desalination Industry, Renewable Energy Industry

Patent:In future

Publications:Under submission